As Lin-Manuel Miranda reminded us all today, the weekly Ham4Ham performances outside of the Richard Rodgers Theatre were never supposed to be a thing. When they did the first ticket lottery (a staple for Broadway theaters wanting to give discount tickets to broke fans), 700 people showed up. Rather than just letting 679 people go home with nothing, Miranda came out to say a few words.
And that act morphed into these weekly Wednesday shows. The insane and unprecedented demand for tickets that didn’t have a three or four figure price point drove the theater to switch to an online lottery system. And if 700 entries sounded like a lot, the online system gets more than 10,000 entries a day. But for the Wednesday matinees, there’s still an in-person lottery, and Miranda, other cast and team members, and special guests, make their appreciation known.
With Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler Hamilton) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) all leaving the show after this Saturday’s performance, today’s matinee was likely their last Ham4Ham. I can’t claim to know what the rest of your screens look like, but mine is unusually dusty and blurry today.
Miranda started out by reading a letter written by Hamilton to his “Betsy” before their marriage, which he says represents everything he loves about the man: “He’s kind of arrogant; he’s kind of insecure, he’s unbelievably romantic.” The letter is hilarious and kind of insufferable and, yes, totally romantic. That “poor man’s wife” line alone is enough to make your heartstrings vibrate.
Sorry, did I forget to warn you that when he brings out his two castmates for their “Happy Trails” send-off, your heart was going to melt right out through your eyes?
Of course, the show will continue. As will the weekly shows, now hosted by the new King George, Rory O’Malley.
Welcome to the family!!!! https://t.co/b39qjG49Y8— Rory O'Malley (@RoryOMalley) July 6, 2016