Broadway in Jacksonville opened up again for the 2021-2022 season (so far…) and to say that I was so excited to see live shows again would be an understatement.
If you know me at all, you know that I’m a musical theater fiend and nerd. [Currently listening to my “Showtunes” playlist on Spotify as I write this.] COVID restrictions was probably the longest I’ve ever gone in my life that I haven’t seen a Broadway show and it was exceedingly hard on my mental health. I’ve grown up with shows and the experience, and I feel exceptionally lucky that I got to see Broadway shows again.
Our season opened with Hamilton (!!!!) and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I was able to snag a seat in the orchestra towards the front. I’d been waiting YEARS to see Hamilton live – the Hamilton recording on Disney+ is probably my most-watched “movie” on there, I swear; I always have it playing in the background while I’m working or cleaning, or simply just to watch it again.
Needless to say, it was everything that I dreamed of. The actors and actresses were incredible, the costumes and sets were amazing, and the lighting – the lighting definitely makes the show! It adds subtle emotional cues that are unlike any other show I’ve seen before. I’ve heard that not every location lets the lighting crew go all-out but if you have a stage that allows it, be sure to note all of the lighting cues! So fun.
I’m pretty sure that I cried a few times during this show…. It was the first show of the season and I felt such overwhelming joy and appreciation to be watching a live show again so I was emotional during the first song, and then of course the typical storyline emotional moments (no spoilers here!).
If Broadway stays open and Hamilton comes to a city near you – RUN don’t walk to get tickets! Sometimes they sell out so maybe set notifications for when tickets go on sale – I did.
The next show I saw was Come From Away. I didn’t know too much about this show but it was recommended to me by a friend pre-COVID so it was on my list.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Come From Away is about the stories and experiences of flight passengers who landed in Gander during the September 11, 2001, attacks in America. Their flight was redirected to this small town in Nova Scotia, home to only a few thousand people and very little amenities capable to handle that many people. The locals scrambled to house and feed the passengers for the days following the attack; the passengers struggled to contact their loved ones and figure out how to get home. All the while, each group is trying to come to grips with what happened that tragic day at the Twin Towers, Pentagon and Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania.
Throughout this musical, the story bounced between hilarious comedy and heart-wrenching tragedy. One second you burst out laughing and the next you’re sobbing. It’s unlike any musical I’ve ever seen before.
The story might be lost on the younger generations if they are unfamiliar with the history and emotion of 9/11, and it might not be considered the most kid friendly. HOWEVER, it was still incredible and I recommend it if it’s coming to your local theater.
Thank you for reading! Have you ever seen either of these shows? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!