A year ago, Becca was in a local production of Peter Pan. Being surrounded by fellow musical theater-loving kids introduced her to a world that I knew nothing about. When I picked her up at the end of one rehearsal, I found her among about 20 girls who were singing at the top of their lungs to a song I had never heard before. There she was, singing along with them! How did she know this song? I wondered. Afterwards, I asked her about it. “It’s from Hamilton, Mom,” she said with a bit of a how-do-you-not-know-about-Hamilton-Mom tone. Yes, how did I not know about Hamilton? We soon started searching You Tube for videos of the show, and checking out the karaoke versions to learn the songs. The catchy tunes and amazing stories started following me everywhere. They were addictive! We couldn’t get enough! I’d listen to Hamilton on Pandora while I ran, as fellow gym-goers wondered why I was doing Lin Manuel Miranda choreography on the treadmill (safely, of course!). The whole family would spontaneously burst into song any time something remotely resembled a line from a song.
For Hanukkah last year, we gave Becca the Hamilton CD set. On our winter break drive to Myrtle Beach (12 hours each way!), we listened to it all, multiple times. At least once per song, our son would make us pause the music so he could explain the historical backstory of the song (his fifth grade class was studying the American Revolution at the time), or Becca would have us pause to explain Hamilton’s personal history (she had chosen to research Hamilton for her biography unit at school). By the end of the car trip, we had listened to the whole musical multiple times, and knew all the songs and history behind them.
So, when I saw the save-the-date flyer for Hamiltunes, sponsored by Madison Music & Arts (MMA), I knew that I HAD to get the date on our calendar!
What is Hamiltunes: An American Singalong, you may be asking? It’s a fabulous concept! It’s basically Hamilton karaoke with an auditorium filled with fellow Hamilton fans! Madison Junior School students have auditioned as individuals and groups (and some high school singers and families, too) to lead the karaoke to Hamilton instrumentals, and the audience will sing along with them. Don’t worry, lyric books will be provided.
This coming Friday night, January 19, 2018, starting at 7pm, Hamiltunes will take place at Madison Junior School (160 Main Street). The entire Madison community is invited to this free family-friendly event. (Did you just read “free”? Yes!) You do, however, need to reserve a ticket at https://madisonhamiltunes.bpt.me so they print a lyric book for you. There will be a 15 minute intermission with hot and cold refreshments available.
Make sure you are “in the room where it happened”!
For more information on Hamiltunes: An American Singalong, email Hamiltunes@MadisonMusicArts.org
For more information on Madison Music & Arts, visit https://www.madisonpublicschools.org/domain/71