Monthly Archives: December 2021

Hamilton Is Back!

Hamilton has returned to the stage. 

Hamilton, the musical production has returned to the stage after the 2019 pandemic surfaced. CVID-19 left Broadway as a whole shook as live showings are the key component. 

A recorded version of Hamilton was released on Disney Plus in 2020 with the original cast. Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator and lead role of Alexander Hamilton extended his vision for an at-home experience for all to see. 

Hamilton isn’t the first production to be released as a “movie.” Cats the Musical is one of the more famously known shows that has been recorded for the small screen back in 1998. 

One key aspect of any Broadway show is the set, and it doesn’t change much during a performance. The story works around the stage and part of Hamilton’s stage literally spins clockwise. Nothing compares to watching the show live!

San Jose was more than excited to be hosting the show at the San Jose Center for The Performing Arts. 

Three requirements were needed to get in. A ticket of course. Along with proof of vaccination and ID with the matching information. The lines were quite fast and the staff worked diligently. 

The show doesn’t slow down for latecomers, so be sure to get there on time, plus it/s quite distracting when people are crouching to the seats. 

The Northern American tour casting of Hamilton is currently made up of three different crews. The shows that were featured in the Bay Area were made up by the “ And Peggy” cast named after the third Schuyler sister. 

Julius Thomas III starred as the lead Alexander Hamilton and Donald Weber Junior as Aaron Burr. The cast is diverse and has been prevalent in a mostly POC cast. The casting director, “Bernie Telsey” has spoken to IndieWire on why that is. 

“It was created with the idea that anyone can do anything. . . it’s much more about consciously making a choice to do something, being seen for the color you are”

 Another unique approach, but not unseen, is the dialect. 

The songs are influenced by hip-hop and rap although taking place in 1776. A comparison could be made to the modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet released in 1996 starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo Montague. The setting is in modern times with the dialect and story being the same.  

While the show is titled Hamilton, the story is told by Aaron Burr as he is the one to open up the show with the famous line;

“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore

And a Scotsman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot

In the Caribbean by providence impoverished

In squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton Essentially want the same thing, to be someone important. Their means of achieving success are very different. Where Burr prefers to play by the rules and take the most logical choice, Hamilton is impatient and lets it be known what he wants. 

This becomes both men’s downfall. Hamilton’s pride ends up killing his image, marriage, and his life. Burr was the man to pull the trigger.

“I’m the damn fool who shot him,” Burr’s lyric speaks to his life after killing Hamilton. 

The success of Hamilton boomed in the mid-2010s, and although Lin-Manuel Miranda had already been working in the music and Broadway industry, this opened a door to more opportunities for Miranda. 

Miranda wrote music for the popular film Moana, released in 2016. He even features some of his vocals in the background of some songs. “In the Heights” was another musical that Miranda was able to bring to movie production. Miranda’s Hamilton castmate, Anthony Ramos, starred as the lead in the role that Miranda once played. 

The shows plan to continue well into 2022 so there’s still time to see when Hamilton will return to a city near you. 

Dining in Experiences; San Francisco

San Francisco requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccine for patrons to dine indoors. As of Aug. 12, businesses have had to adapt to more changes as the pandemic continues. 

The City and County of San Francisco (CCOSF) announced that this health order” [has been] designed to protect against the continued spread of COVID-19, particularly among the unvaccinated, while keeping businesses open and helping to ensure schools remain open.” 

Over 94,000 small businesses (corner stores/restaurants/shops) operate out of the city, according to the CCSOF. Some have had better experiences adjusting to the mandate. The common opinion among several businesses is to do the best they can to keep doors open and employees safe. 

Imperial Tea Court is a famous restaurant that opened in the early 90s located in The Ferry Building on Embarcadero. 

Another location is set in Northern Berkeley where the city requires proof of vaccination before entry. The City of Berkeley emphasizes how restaurant environments hold high risks, “airborne droplets or particles containing the virus spread easily”

One of the employees oF Imperial Tea Court, who wishes to remain unnamed, has worked at the Embarcadero location since its opening in 2005. 

He emphasized that he feels safe in his work environment and will continue to follow any guidelines presented by the city. He stated that he’s always been in favor of a vaccine, whether or not it was required to go to work. 

According to the unnamed employee, there are more residents and businesses who are willing to follow guidelines than those who are not, “I haven’t heard of a business not wanting to comply. In San Francisco, people are very pro-vaccination.”

He also noted that although the business has picked back up again, it is not as busy as it used to be. The employee believes it’s due to the end of summer and there aren’t as many tourists. Johnson said visitors from all around the world come to Embarcadero, and he’s had several patrons who didn’t want to comply. 

“Sometimes I’m kind of fearful that a customer could be an anti-vaxxer and be volatile,” responded the employee when asked about those who don’t want to show vaccination proof. Thankfully nothing worrisome has occurred at the Tea Court. 

Locations with outdoor dining have the advantage, as they’re able to serve those who do not wish to show proof or have yet to get the vaccine. 

A popular location located right above the BART stop on Powell St. is the Westfield Mall. Thousands of people stop here to get to work or to enjoy the 170+ shops. The food court serves desserts, smoothie shops, and various Asian cuisines. However, to dine in, you must present your vaccine proof to a security guard before entering the dining area. 

One factor that some may not be aware of is that the mall has a terrace on the ninth floor where people can eat outdoors if they don’t have proof. There are plenty of tables and chairs, all with a delightful view of the Theater District. 

Jose Hernandez is a security guard for the mall and has worked in this location for about six months. According to Hernandez, for the most part, people are on board and comply with the rules.

“I haven’t had to remove anyone who didn’t want to comply.”

Hernandez has only worked as a security guard and is very used to the changing CDC guidelines. He, like Johnson, does believe the city is very used to the changes and comply. 

“There are a few ways that people can show proof, which makes it easier.” Hernandez refers to the physical vaccine card and apps (depending on where you got the vaccine) with the QR code you can download to your smartphone that holds your information. 

If you don’t have the vaccine card, you can download an online version of the verification through Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record. (https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/ ) A QR code appears with your name and the dates you received the vaccine(s).