Chances are, you’re not going to see Hamilton on Broadway anytime soon. Tickets are so impossible to come by that, standing outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre Monday night, Stephen Colbert remarked that the soonest seat he could get online was for a Sunday matinee in 2018. He wasn’t joking.
So, for many Americans, the performance of the show’s opening number “Alexander Hamilton” during tonight’s Grammy Awards is the best they are going to get. And the insanely talented cast did not disappoint. “Prepare to witness something truly special,” Colbert said from the stage.
“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean, by providence impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?” Leslie Odom, Jr.’s Aaron Burr began, just as he does eight times a week on Broadway.
Performing on their set, in their house, with an enthusiastic crowd full of lucky Broadway insiders, Odom, along with Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, Renée Elise Goldsberry and the rest of the cast managed to bring a crowd of music superstars to their feet from all the way on the other side of country. When Miranda first appeared, he got a cheer that stopped him in his tracks.
We’ve all seen Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, even Adele perform on TV countless times at this point. But Hamilton is something genuinely new, special and important.
The Hamilton team also took home a Grammy Monday night for Best Musical Theater Album. In four months, when James Corden hosts the Tony Awards, also on CBS, expect them to take home what could be a record number of trophies. Then just imagine how hard it will be to get tickets.