I am not a person who tends to follow trends. I couldn’t care less about designer handbags, celebrity news, or the latest must-see.
So the incredible hype surrounding Hamilton for the past year or so didn’t sway me to listen to it. It wasn’t until a critical mass of trusted friends had expressed their undying love for it that I finally checked it out.
Now that I’ve been listening to Hamilton, I have decided that NO ONE ELSE should EVER start listening to Hamilton. It’s a big mistake. Huge.
1) You’ll listen to it once and like it just fine. But you’ll realize you missed a lot because there’s so much to it and the words fly so fast, so you’ll listen to it again. And then again. And again. And soon you’ll be so awed by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrical genius that you’ll be ruined for any other musical ever again. And how could you do that to Les Miserables? Poor Les Mis.
2) You’ll fall helplessly head over heels for one or more of the Founding Fathers and feel all conflicted about it. You know, slavery, white supremacy. But Christopher Jackson as George Washington is just so damned smooth with that buttery voice and strength of character. Why invite that kind of internal conflict into your life?
3) You’ll look like a fool in your car, belting out, “HERE COMES THE GENERAL!” or “EVERYONE GIVE IT UP FOR AMERICA’S FAVORITE FIGHTIN’ FRENCHMAN!” or any one of the other dozens of beltable lines as you throw your entire being into your driver’s seat performance. It might not be safe for you to drive that way. You really ought to pay more attention to the road.
4) Speaking of which, if you’re driving when Hamilton’s son dies, you’ll have to pull over because HOLY TEARS, BATMAN. And you’ll need to wait there through “It’s Quiet Uptown” because you cannot safely drive and ugly cry at the same time. And when you finally compose yourself well enough to drive home, you’ll look up that song online, watch Kelly Clarkson’s live version of it, and curl up in the fetal position, heave-sobbing. Puffy eyes for days. Why do that to yourself?
5) You won’t be able to talk about anything else and will annoy your family and friends to no end with your Hamilton evangelism. You don’t want your loved ones to hate you, do you? Do you?
6) When you’re not listening to the soundtrack, you’ll be looking up every video on the interwebs that feature any performances, speeches, interviews, or glimpses from the show and its actors. That takes a lot of time that you could be using to clean your house or create something useful. Come on, man. Don’t be such a slob.
7) You’ll listen to it 20 or 30 times and you’ll like it more and more each time you listen to it. At some point you’ll start to wonder if your head might literally explode from the brilliance of it all. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life. Trust me.
8) You’ll find yourself feeling devastated that you didn’t get to see the Broadway production with the original cast because there’s no way that anyone could replace Daveed Diggs as Jefferson/Lafayette or Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr. There’s just no way. You missed that train. It’s gone and it’s not coming back. Sorry, buddy. Sucks to be you.
9) You’ll recover from that disappointment and decide you still MUST see the show in whatever form you can. Even though the closest production to you would require an expensive plane ride and hotel room, not to mention hundreds of dollars per ticket admission, you start calculating what you could sell and where you could scrimp and save to make it happen.
10) You might decide to go to Chicago the same week that I’m going to be there visiting family. And then you might sign up for the $10 Hamilton ticket lottery, thereby lessening my chances of winning dirt cheap admission AND THOSE CHEAP HAMILTON TICKETS ARE MINE, DAMNIT, KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF THEM YOU OBNOXIOUS, ARROGANT, LOUDMOUTH BOTHER.
11) You might start insulting people with Hamilton quotes. And that just makes you look silly.
See? Totally not worth it. Stick with Les Mis or Rent. Far less risk for everyone involved. (And seriously, hands off that Chicago lottery during Thanksgiving week, mmkay? I NEED THOSE TICKETS.)