In June 2018, I traveled to Chicago for a conference and decided to splurge on a ticket to this little show called “Hamilton,” which happened to be playing close to our hotel.
Well, really, it was already huge on Broadway. I had heard about it but had yet to see it. I love musicals, so I thought, “Why not?”
I listened to the soundtrack a couple of times before I saw the show, but listening to it digitally couldn’t even begin to match the emotions and the powerful scenes I saw on stage. I was hooked. After seeing the show, the soundtrack went into my musical rotation. Eventually, my daughter started listening along.
My daughter, Liv, is only 8 years old, but when I heard “Hamilton” was coming to Omaha, I knew I had to take her. Like me, she loves singing along with the radio, making up her own songs and letting her creativity shine through her voice. She carries a tune a little bit better than I ever did, and her vivacious personality shines through as we sing the “Hamilton” tunes in the car.
It was even more so as we got ready to see “Hamilton” together on Saturday.
Liv did her own hair, put on her favorite dress and was at the car ready to go before I was. While some kids are jamming out to Jonas Brothers, she anxiously awaited her favorite song, "Wait for It," which is Burr's anthem that shows his character, as opposed to Hamilton's "non-stop" attitude.
Since this was not her first musical, she was familiar with the rule to not sing aloud, but she couldn't resist mouthing a few songs — especially "You'll Be Back," King George's "love letter" to the colonists. The look on her face when "King George" hit the stage (every time) made the price of two tickets worth every penny.
For some, “Hamilton” is just a musical about Alexander Hamilton — the founding father on the $10 bill whose chances to be president were squashed by death by dual. However, for my daughter and I, it represents so much more.
“Hamilton” is something we can enjoy together, complete with little inside jokes — like when she goes to the neighbor’s house and I tell her “you’ll be back” by dinnertime. Or that she should “meet me inside.” We’ve even had conversations about history, diversity and today’s America.
These moments with my daughter are fleeting, as she quickly grows up from a small toddler singing Disney tunes to rapping some “Hamilton” hits. I am so grateful that Omaha Performing Arts has brought this incredible production to Omaha.
It’s not really about “Hamilton,” though. It’s about making moments like these last. I think about the time I have with her and how these moments matter.
Jen Schneider is a local middle school teacher and mom to two children.