Needless to say, getting tickets to Hamilton is not easy to do, so on a surprise trip to New York I decided to venture to the stage door and see what I could see after the performance got out on a Saturday night. The crowd was quite large cramming around a security fence and along 46th street on both sides of the Richard Rodgers Theatre and spilling out into the street as everyone waited. Fans of all ages attempted to line up a good position clutching programs, and copies of Chernow’s book, and a wide variety of items in the hopes of leaving with them autographed.
Through a narrow set of windows the stairwell to dressing rooms gave many a glimpse of some of the performers making their ways up to their dressing rooms. The question was who might come down and when. In the meantime, security and theater staff popped in and out of the stage door either to monitor the crowd or usher in guests. This would result in the near comical result of dozens of times the door would open, everyone would ready themselves, and a staffer or one of the guests would emerge. As the time ticket on past eleven, Rory O’Malley (King George III) emerged to the joy of the Hamilfans and he made the rounds along the line.
Following his exit, false alarm after false alarm would follow, but the door opened once again and out came Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) to a rousing ovation. Odom would be on stage twenty four hours later to accept his Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical, but for now he stood in front of everyone waving, and asking those cheering to consider purchasing his newly released album. He then walked along the line as well, signing as much as he could.
Not long afterward security would announce that was it for the evening and start clearing the street. But it was a surreal experience especially given just how difficult it is to get inside the theatre in the first place.