One of the things that really brought me back to Broadway this past year is the Hamilton tradition known as Ham4Ham. Principally, it’s a lottery for $10 tickets in the front row (hence the name: a ticket to Hamilton in exchange for a $10 bill with Hamilton’s picture on it.) However, Lin-Manuel Miranda quickly realized when the show began that hundreds of people were lining up for a chance to win 27 tickets, and a lot of people were going to go home disappointed. So he started hosting a little, free performance before each lottery. Most are only about 5 minutes long, but this way, everyone who shows up gets something.
These performances quickly became popular on YouTube and I’ve been watching all of them. They really sucked me back in to the theater kid mentality, because during Ham4Ham, I get the sense that the actors are just having fun. Sometimes they bring in stars, other times members of the cast just do something they feel like doing, like singing Christmas carols or doing a song from the show with the parts switched. Either way, it reminds me what it was like to hang out with actors. When nerds hang out with other nerds, they make nerdy things together, and it’s fun. And of course, on Broadway, everyone is the best of the best, so their playing around is usually lots of fun to watch.
Nowadays, Ham4Ham only happens once a week, on Wednesdays (the lottery is online the rest of the week) and it’s hosted by Rory O’Malley, the current King George. This week, he plotted a reunion.
KPD and I LOVED Grease: You’re The One That I Want. We voted every week, and we voted for Laura and Max, so we were really excited when they won. I hadn’t thought about that show in ages, and it really made me smile when I remembered how much fun we had debating the strengths and weaknesses of the different actors. I remember when Max cut his hair, when Laura wore those amazing boots, and the agony each week as people were eliminated.
Best of all, I didn’t get the icky feeling I usually get from reality tv, because these were all actors getting real exposure doing what they do best, and possibly getting a part in a Broadway show that was sure to sell well, at least for a while.
I was really excited to see that Max and Laura are still doing well. This was a great idea. Thanks, Rory!