Monday, March 27, 2017

Another item to cross off on my bucket list ... .

Made it to Hamilton!

Yesterday at promptly eleven in the morning a limo arrived at my door to deliver me to San Francisco's Orpheum theater for the one o'clock matinee.  I could hardly breathe as the  hour grew nearer and nearer.   Hadn't slept a wink all night with anticipation of what this day might bring.

I was expecting an Uber or Lyft to swing around the corner any moment, and was completely overwhelmed when around the corner of our apartment parking lot there was suddenly a luxurious "mile-long" pure white stretch limo with the driver attempting to maneuver the sharp turn required to reach my condo.

As was true in my adolescence, I was not properly waiting in my living room until the driver called to announce his or her arrival, I'd closed the door behind me at least ten minutes before and was waiting outside at the bottom of the stairs in eager anticipation.  Could hear my mother's voice in the background as 16 year-old Betty of long ago waited on the front porch for her date to arrive -- mother would plead with me to "come inside and wait like a lady so you will be able to make an entrance and not look too anxious, please" -- to deaf young ears.  I was always eagerly waiting for my most current boyfriend with every nerve ending exposed and ready for the next adventure.  Some things never change.

As the magnificent limo made its way around the corner, I could see the driver's face and vaguely recognized him as someone, somehow, some place or other with whom I'd crossed paths.   I've by now lived in this area for such a long lifetime, everyone within a radius of about 30 miles is beginning to look vaguely familiar.

As he brought his elegant "chariot" to a full stop and got out to open the rear door to seat me, I spontaneously threw my arms around him and kissed him on the cheek!  He was totally surprised, but good natured about this unexpected greeting and allowed me to feel totally comfortable.  He was the "ten white mice with his great pumpkin chariot", even if I am the only one who knew it.

I have no idea what any startled neighbors thought about all this, but at the moment they were standing in for my mother of long ago, and I didn't give a fig about what they were thinking.  I live in a low-to-moderate income apartment complex where limos are not an everyday sight by anyone's calculation.

I got into the back seat with its bench on one side and a full bar on the other; with the heating and cooling controls just above on the ceiling; with James Moody playing his mellow tenor sax that memorable arrangement of These Foolish Things on KCSM radio --  softly somewhere behind my head, and the driver up there at least a half block ahead, we took off to pick up Amy Orton who -- with her husband, Eddie, were my hosts for the afternoon; then straight for Hamilton in San Francisco.

Do not be put off by the fact that this is the road company and not the original Broadway cast.  The magic of Hamilton is in its complexity; its choreography, music, language, research and writing, in the voices, the imaginative characters, the mind-capturing stage settings which includes descending staircases and turntables, the totality, the brilliance of the ensemble where the balance of all those aspects come together flawlessly! This is theater at its best.

And here we are with the non-existent curtain about to rise; with the pit orchestra now fully tuned up, and here 'tis;


... and now I'm going to begin to plot my next visit to the Orpheum before this great show picks up its toys and closes in August.  Once seen is only the beginning of a relationship with this ground-breaking experience of theater -- it is Shakespearean, operatic,  triumphant in its celebration of dance, and all as neo-contemporary in verbal expression as is dawn of tomorrow morning!