Using my 40thwedding anniversary as an impetus, I finally saw Hamilton last night. (And luckily for $120 a ticket instead of $400!) Did I like it? Yes, I did, particularly the second half. Certainly an intriguing story, the dance choreography, singing and rapping was about as tight, polished, well-rehearsed and energetic as you can get it and such accomplishment is always praise worthy. Was I moved in a deeply memorable way? No, not particularly. Which got me thinking about art.
What do I hope for when engaging with art, be it a play, movie, book, concert, painting, poem, etc? Part of it is simply a heightened experience of life, where the colors feel a bit more vibrant, the sounds a bit more melodious, the feelings a bit larger or deeper or truer. I admire virtuosity and appreciate the work that goes into mastering one’s craft, but that alone is never enough. I like a certain vulnerability that opens the gates of the soul a bit wider and reminds me that this life is a gift to be praised and savored and that we all should do better in sharing that gift amongst ourselves. Some humor is always good, joined with some quiet moments when time stands still. And so on.
I was happy I went to Hamilton, but truth be told? Singing with the preschoolers accomplishes the same feelings and indeed, perhaps a bit more. Their sincere, quirky, life-loving, ebullient selves singing their little hearts out is every bit on the same level—and again, sometimes more—than the most virtuosic adult display. And not only is it free, but I get paid!
I suspect Hamilton-lovers will think I’m insane, but hey, come with me to preschool singing sometime and then we’ll talk. Meanwhile, I can’t wait until next Thursday!