ALEXANDER HAMILTON

     My reaction after being invited

     My reaction after being invited

Everyone, listen. I got to see *dramatic pause* the famous Hamilton musical. Don't worry, I'll tell you everything. (Spoiler: It was as amazing as you would expect, but I certainly still have some critical opinions. I managed to wait for it for 15 whole seconds into the first song before I started crying!)

Firstly, the original cast is no longer on Broadway, AND the day I went, there was a stand-in for Hamilton. I'm very biased, but there's no substitute for the original cast. I genuinely can't decide if the current cast was so good I didn't mind the replacements, or if the show design is so "micro managed" that it doesn't matter which Broadway-level talent is performing the part. Most notably missed was Johnathan Groff's sweet tone as King George III the first. However, there were a few standout moments, and I was pleasantly surprised with  Mandy Gonzalez as Angelica, especially because Renée Elise Goldsberry is one of my favorites from the original cast.

Me and everyone I was with, thought the audio quality was surprisingly bad. It was on the boomy side even though I was in the back of the balcony. Also, the orchestra overpowered the soloists occasionally making it difficult to hear some of the words, and, as everyone who has heard the album knows, if you miss a second or two of words you can get lost. Anyway, enough of the bad stuff.

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I am also biased because I saw footage of the show before I went in person. My first impression was that the background dancers seemed very dancy in contrast to the music. However, when I saw it in person, the full suspension of disbelief hit me and I thought the background dancers were quite effective. The lighting design is AMAZING. It punctuated every impactful moment perfectly. I was surprised at how bare the set is, but not in a bad way. The "scene changes" really happen by a few props and your imagination. I thought this was actually more effective than the very literal sets of some musicals.

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I had a truly amazing experience at the musical and for anyone who doesn't know, there is an entire store dedicated to Hamilton merchandise across the street from the Richard Rogers theater. I happily found the songbook there and quickly used that as my souvenir purchase. If anyone wants to borrow it, just comment below! So Waitress to Hamilton in one summer. Quite a change, huh? I am so lucky I've seen TWO Broadway shows this summer with some killer writing and performers. How am I possibly going to survive the winter without visiting Broadway? Which show should I see next??

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Ashley Wright

Ashley has a breadth of experience in administration, music, and music management. She currently works as the Office Registrar at the Nashua Community Music School and manages the New England Chamber Players and Barbershop Ladies of Tallahassee (where she was a founding member). Ashley designed and implemented both the NECP and BLT websites, as well as designed the BLT logo. She was formerly an usher and stage crew member at the Florida State University Ruby Diamond Auditorium, and a resident assistant and office assistant at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Ashley has played with the Nevers’ Second Regiment Band, the Southern New Hampshire University Wind Symphony, and she attended the Belgian Clarinet Academy last summer. She recently graduated with a BA in Music from Florida State University as a clarinet major, where she studied with Dr. Deborah Bish. For other musical accomplishments: last year, Ashley composed a film score that was recorded by the Florida State University Philharmonia Orchestra and played tenor saxophone and sung backup vocals in the FSU Ruby Diamond Auditorium for the FSU Blues Band with Charles Atkins.

She received her first bachelor's degree in physics (with a music minor) from Boston University. She worked as an engineer for two years in Quality Assurance and Software before returning to school for her music degree, and she spent last summer as a software intern. She has a lot of experience developing independent Python tools, especially for data processing.