An Odyssey for Hamilton Tickets

On November 2017, Lin Manuel Miranda announced that his hit Broadway show Hamilton, would be held in Puerto Rico in the theatre of the University of Puerto Rico and he would be reprising his role as Alexander Hamilton for the first time since 2016. Obviously, expectation for the tickets was high, since a lot of people would want to see Lin Manuel Miranda reprise the role.

Fast forward to November 2018, after ups and downs throughout the entire year, the tickets finally went on sale. Two of our own, Paula and Gabriela, decided to camp out at the university to get those golden tickets. These are their stories and how they managed to succeed.

 

From the very beginning, I knew that I was not going to rely on the online sale, I had a feeling that if I did it would not work out for me and I would be freaking out. I made the decision to go buy them in person, just to be on the safe side, but I didn’t have any friends that would be willing to spend the night. What happened was that on Friday, right after I got out of class I ran into my friend Andrea and we saw people already making the line, and right there and then, we decided we were going to camp at the university. We arrived with all of our last minute gear and snacks and took our spot in line. There were already around thirty people in front of us, we got comfortable and started what would be a twelve hour wait. Honestly, I thought it was going to be terrible, but it wasn’t that bad.

I managed to sleep for a few hours and to make conversation with the people around me. Of course, we were still there for 12 hours and I was exhausted even though I had managed to sleep and relax a bit. I think the adrenaline was what kept me going, I couldn’t believe that I had a shot at seeing Hamilton after dreaming about it for over two years. It was weird to walk around campus and see it completely empty and only illuminated by the pole lights, never in my life had I thought that I would spend the night at la IUPI in this matter. When morning finally came, we were all woken up by the bells of La Torre, a very lovely surprise. Around that time, Lin’s dad, Luis, showed up and greeted all of us and gave us coffee and doughnuts. Bless, it was very much needed and it was a nice way to start the morning after such a long night. I was also interviewed by the Hamilton team for a documentary they are doing about the Puerto Rico production. I wasn’t looking my best, but I did it.

When 9am finally rolled around, it started, we were anxious and excited because this was what we had been waiting for. We weren’t throwing away our shot! Entering that theatre and buying that ticket was an unbelievable rush, I was shaking and I couldn’t believe that this was happening.

When I exited the theatre and I found out that I had somehow managed to buy the tickets for opening night, I started crying. It was in that moment that all of the journalists that were there saw me and rushed to interview me. I made it into Telemundo and Metro, as well as the Hamilton social medias. It was unreal and to this day I can’t believe that I got tickets, I’m very fortunate and grateful to finally be able to see Hamilton, and feel so happy for everyone that managed to score a ticket. After the whole ordeal, we said our goodbyes and Andrea and I left and as we dragged our lawn chairs through campus, numerous security guards congratulated us on our victory, we couldn’t stop smiling. After finally getting home and crying some more, I took the longest shower of my life and went to sleep. I would do it all over again, it was definitely worth it.

- Gabriela

​I remember leaving my class on Friday and seeing groups of students already preparing their bags of food to last them the night. It made me feel anxious about my prospects for getting tickets, because I didn’t really have a plan for getting them. I was already apprehensive about relying on the website to get my tickets, seeing as it was the most readily available method for anyone, and my boyfriend and I had half-heartedly made plans to go early to the university the day of the tickets sale. However, after seeing the students in the morning getting ready and hearing about people who were already in line for tickets, we decided last-minute to set off to the university. After packing up whatever snacks we could scrounge up and some old beach chairs, we arrived at the university at ten o’clock with a line of 25 to 30 people. With almost 12 hours until the ticket sale, our waiting began.

It wasn’t the most comfortable of nights. I never really imagined myself (barely) sleeping on the floor of my university in a line of strangers for tickets, but this is where this adventure had taken me. There was never a moment in which I regretted going, however. I have loved theater and Broadway since I was young, and I have been obsessed with Hamilton since it came out. I knew this was a rare opportunity, and I was not throwing away my shot (I had to do it). Despite the uncomfortableness of waiting in a line for 12 hours and the surreal feeling of spending a night in la IUPI, it gave me the opportunity to make friends with others in line who were as excited as I was, and the overall atmosphere during those twelve hours was one of community, even if most of us had never met each other before.

After downing the cup of coffee Lin’s dad, Luis, brought those in line (in a “got Hamilton?” shirt, no less) and picking up our blankets and chairs, it was 9am and someone was blasting the Hamilton soundtrack through their speakers as the line finally began to move and people began to emerge from the theater with a receipt in hand and wide smiles that stretched from ear to ear. It was all a bit of a whirlwind, with many cameras pointed our way from different TV stations covering the event, interviews being conducted left and right, and sleep deprivation still weighing heavily on my eyelids. My boyfriend and I exchanged tired yet victorious grins when we finally bought our tickets. I then hugged the friends I had made in those 12 hours, quietly made my way past reporters eager to talk to those who had just purchased their tickets (as glamorous as showing up on the news sounded, I looked less-than-decent and hadn’t had any breakfast, which was my absolute main priority), and made my way home to sleep until six in the afternoon. It was an unusual, unplanned and unforgettable experience, but it was worth it in the end.

- Paula

 

Both of them were featured in numerous news outlets of Puerto Rico, including this article in the Metro Newspaper and their Instagram page.

 

Image credit: 1, 2 and 3 courtesy of Gabriela Burgos