Not throwing away their shot

Carmel teachers vote for Hamilton

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Not throwing away their shot

Tori Jozwiak, Social Media Editor

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Coming straight from the bright lights of Broadway, Chicago is the host of the first off-Broadway production of the smash musical, Hamilton.

Based on the life of Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, the musical features a wildly diverse cast, primarily hip-hop and R&B music, and a fresh new approach to traditional music.

Setting a Broadway record with the most Tony nominations ever at 16, the show brought home 11 trophies and continues to sell out every night in New York, with tickets that are bought at many times their face value.

It’s just as hard for people to get tickets for the Chicago production.

The fact that the show features such upbeat music helps draw young audiences who come for the songs and end up learning about history in a way that makes education cool and exciting. The message appeals to Carmel’s students and teachers alike.

As a history buff, I’ve long been a fan of Alexander Hamilton. I was really impressed with Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, which was what inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the musical,” Social Studies teacher, Jack Waddle, said. “I also wrote a musical production about Hamilton’s life. It just hasn’t taken off yet.”

 Not everyone has gone deep into Hamilton’s story, but still can’t wait to check it out.

“I’m so excited to see it,” English teacher Anne Nieminski said. “I don’t really know too much about it, ironically, but my mom and I love musicals, and my brother is obsessed with history.”

When the first run of tickets went on sale in June, not everyone was lucky enough to get seats.

“I was very disappointed when I didn’t get tickets. I was ready to strangle my computer!” Waddle said.

Waddle explained that he was able to select tickets in the first wave, but when he was paying for tickets, Ticketmaster’s web site crashed. By the time the site rebooted, the entire show was sold out.

“I actually begged some of my former students that got tickets to take me to see it on Facebook,” Waddle said.

Other teachers say that they owe their tickets to good fortune.

“I was lucky. It was an evening, and I thought all of the tickets would be sold out by then,” Nieminski said. “My mom was like ‘oh you should look just to see,’ and now I have tickets.”

Other luck came in the form of family insiders.

Technology Integration Facilitator Amy Raemont said her brother is a Broadway in Chicago subscriber and that he would sell her his tickets.

“He told me, ‘I remember taking my son to see his favorite band when he was Quinn’s age, and I remember the look on his face…I want that for Quinn,’” Raemont said.  

Because of its outrageously high demand, the Chicago tour was extended its duration for an additional six months which gave those who failed to score tickets the first time gave it another try.

“Tickets went on sale again at 10:00 a.m., which is luckily my prep period,” Waddle said, “I ended up getting two tickets on my wife and my anniversary.”

Since the show opened almost a month ago, Raemont has seen it. So has English Department Head Patty VanSpankeren who scored her tickets after a friend saw her complaints about not having tickets on social media and offered her some free ones.

VanSpankeren was blown away by the production.

“I loved the minimalist set,” VanSpankeren said. “The ensemble was amazing.”