Good people of the revolution – and King George,
My name is Robert, but you can all me The Hook. (Everyone else does.)
On Wednesday, the fifth of April, my daughter and I did journey from our humble home in Niagara Falls, Canada, to the great sprawling metropolis known as New York to view your production concerning the life and turbulent times of one Alexander Hamilton. It was a journey that began many months earlier when my daughter, with the permission of her mother, began to save the moneys she accumulated by laboring as a hostess in order to afford the sum of two thousand Canadian dollars to spend an evening with you.
It was an evening etched in our collective memory.
But first some background is necessary. My daughter’s privacy is invaluable so I will be brief, but know this: my child was bullied relentlessly until she reached high school. Now she is eighteen and has shed more tears than a person three times her age. She has felt like an outsider her entire life as she has searched for a place to belong, a cause to make her feel welcomed. So great has her suffering been that it has manifested itself in a medical condition that normally affects less than 2% of females.
But she has found a light to guide her through the darkness.
Each of you emitted a ray of that collective light the night we watched you perform.
Several flight delays and a cancellation threatened to keep us from New York that day but my pleas to the airline allowed us to prevail and reach our destination. A smile wider than any I’ve ever seen began to form on my daughter’s face when we arrived on Broadway hours before showtime and it grew even wider when we finally took our seats. And when the show itself came to life?
I watched an ember glow to life in my progeny’s eyes as Alexander Hamilton told the tale of his beginnings. That ember became a series of sparks when Mad King George bandied about the stage spouting gibberish. Those sparks became a roaring fire when Philip Hamilton met his untimely and tragic end. That roaring fire became a raging inferno when Eliza laments her losses and vows to live on for her fallen son and husband.
My daughter and I answered the call when you asked for donations for the less fortunate and our contributions were repaid a thousand-fold when four of your company emerged from the stage door and signed autographs and posed for pictures. My child was far too star-struck to tell any of you just how much your efforts meant to her. She could not find the words to express the impact watching Hamilton has had on her soul.
So I’ll speak for her.
To Sarah, Hamilton is a tale of an outsider’s quest for friendship – which he achieves one night in a tavern after meeting the man who will become his adversary and ultimately, his executioner.
To my child, Hamilton is the story of an immigrant’s struggle to rise far above his meager station – which he does after serving under one of his new country’s greatest leaders.
To my daughter, Hamilton is a recounting of one man’s search for love – which he finds in the arms of a woman who never truly wavers in her devotion and children, one of whom is literally willing to die for his father.
To my progeny, Hamilton is all this and so much more. She has been consumed by the writings of Alexander himself. Every tome concerning your production adorns her shelf at home. The cast recording now sits in an honored location in our mini-van. (Trust me, that’s more of an honor than you’d think; my “Best of Hall and Oates” compilation CD didn’t make the cut.) Sarah spent over three American hundred dollars on Hamilton merchandise at the pop-up shop – and had to hold herself back from cashing in our tickets home to purchase more.
The fire you lit in my child began to smolder long before she arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, but it overwhelmed her when she witnessed your collective brilliance for herself.
That fire still burns though, if she could, my child would watch you perform every day for the rest of her life.
And I would happily join her.
So from the bottom of my frozen Canadian heart, thank you all. And to Lin, who will always be at the heart of every performance, you have my undying respect and admiration, good sir.
What a magical trip. Thanks for sharing, Hook.
Thanks for reading, John.
Your daughter has a magical soul Hook and you are a great dad. Love to you and your family!
When you’re right, you’re right, Marion.
Too bad I can’t type. You are a great dad!
You type just fine, lady.
I am so glad that you both got to share that together. And thank you for sharing with us…
More to come, my friend.
I’m just wiped out right now…
Right back at ya, Robyn.
I’ve already heard a lot of good things about Hamilton, but as long as for the price of one two-hour show you can literally have a week-long vacation, I’m not going to go.
So what I really want to know is, how much did you tip the bellman at your NYC hotel? 🙂
Our hotel didn’t have bellmen, but we tipped the concierge and the porters who stored our luggage.
And the waitresses, the hostesses, the shuttle drivers…
I’m glad you were able to accompany your daughter Robert and saw just what she got from this show. I bet she’ll remember it for a long time.
That memory’s not going anywhere, David.
Hook, you certainly have me hooked. Thank you for sharing this stand-up-and-cheer-beautiful letter. I can only imagine the bond this experience gave you and your daughter.
You drew me in right away, as I was bullied throughout my tweens and teens. (Now I give zero tolerance to bullies, no matter how they present themselves to the world.) She is blessed with parents like you and your wife, rather than the kind who would deny anything was happening to her.
Wishing you and yours spectacular joy.
And we’re sending those wishes right back to you, Teagan.
What a delightful story – and what a wonderful experience for your daughter and yourself. It’s simply beautiful. I am very glad lights were lit in your hearts and souls.
They certainly were, Otto.
Nice to hear from you again.
That is just about the warmest and the most worthwhile open letters I have chanced upon the Internet. The last thing I can imagine about you having is a frozen heart, my friend! Now if you ever wonder about that squeaking noise about you, remember it’s my heart singing along with your family.
You’re more than welcome, my friend.
Your daughter’s passion ! ! You are one lucky father, Mr. Hook, to have her.
I am indeed, young lady.
WOW! Just wow! I know that feeling of walking around on a cloud after witnessing something so great, and there is nothing like it. I’m so happy that you were able to share that feeling together … it rocks when you have someone join you on your cloud. I was in NYC yesterday to see Paramour. Honestly, my brain is still trying to process what my eyes witnessed.
Ps. I’m 4 clouds behind you on the left.
You saw Paramour?
Believe it or not, my kid will be jealous!
It’s ok because I’m MORE jealous of her!!
What a great post. Thank you for sharing.
YOU are aweomesauce! So great you took your daughter to NYC to see Hamilton and fulfill a dream for her! Major dad kudos!! 😚
I do rock, don’t I?
Brilliant post, Hook. Arts and culture do uplift, don’t they? In spite of what the current incumbent of the WH and his complicit turds think. Carry on.
Who says you have to go somewhere exotic to check one off the bucket list? Beautifully written.
First I want to give your daughter a hug. Second, you get Dad of the year award for taking her to NY. I don’t know too many Dad’s who would take the time, spend the money to be with their daughters. Son’s yes but not daughters. Way to go.
I am so glad she was thrilled! It seems her Daddy was too, with both the production and the affect it had on his little girl! I hope it left an indullable impression on her brain, that she can be anything she wants to be. Sounds like a magical trip! You’re a great Dad, Hook! We need more Dad’s like you in this world of ours.
I try, Theresa.
Thank you so much.
Good thing I am typing an answer because I don’t think I could speak past the lump in my throat. Wow. Just wow. I was always the quiet kid in the corner because if I stayed quiet, the others would leave me alone. When you have an IQ like mine, you tend to stand out because you see things differently. Not a good thing in the Clan of the Cruel Kids. Music became my shield and my refuge. Your daughter is so blessed to have a dad who understands her. Blessings to you and your family!
Your friendship and support mean everything.
Great post, and lucky you! I have friends desperate to get into this show and can’t. Are there more tales from the city?
How awesome for you to share such an amazing experience with your daughter. I know she will definitely remember it. Great job Dad! And I love, love, love, that quote! Great post 🙂
So amazing, Robert! What a priceless experience with your daughter!
Such a heartwarming story. I truly enjoyed every minute of it and can also relate to your daughter’s struggles. I pray she keeps that fire burning inside of her and if it ever dies a bit, she’ll be able to reignite it with this magical musical. Thanks for sharing!
You made me cry. Getting lost in a play, musical or drama, is magical. I hope to see “Hamilton” one day. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure, old friend.
Hey Hook! Just wanted to let you know I featured this post on my blog. I didn’t know if you had a IG so I couldn’t tag you that way. http://www.tunisiajolyn.com/2017/04/17/sharing-is-caring-series-pt-1/
You’re the best, old friend.
Aww you’re the best! And you’re welcome. 🙂