My Hamilton Cancellation Line Experience

Thought I’d let everyone know about my (successful) Hamilton cancellation line experience. This was for the evening show on Monday, May 16. I hopped in line at around 01:15 AM Monday in preparation for the 7:00 PM show.

01:15 AM: Arrive at Richard Rodgers theatre. There is a couple already set up (I later find out that they arrived around midnight). If any of you have been in/at the theatre, it’s the door to the left of the main entrance, where people can walk out from the coat check. This couple (wisely) brought a thick duvet and huge fluffy pillows.

01:30 AM: I try and get myself comfortable. I brought two bottles of water, a bag of chips, backpack full of playbooks and Hillary Clinton’s memoir (heh), and a pillow + medium thickness acrylic blanket. Realizing I don’t have anything between me at the ground, I ask for a clean trashbag from the nearby Marriott and sleep on it to prevent getting too dirty, while trying to find a comfortable position with the minimal cushioning that my coat and the blanket gave.

05:00 AM: Wake up freezing to death, phone says temperatures are around 3 degrees Celsius. 5 other people have arrived:

  1. Girl A — single regular ticket (arr. 3 AM)
  2. Man A––single regular ticket(arr. 4:30 AM)
  3. Girls B — 2 girls wanting 2 and willing to get Premium (arr. 5 AM)
  4. Man B — wanting 1 and willing to get Premium as well (arr. 5 AM).

05:00 AM: Get to know each other in line, take bathroom breaks (the Marriott’s free-to-access 8th floor lounge has clean and nice bathrooms), everyone is civil and friendly as we hold each other’s places in line. Starbucks opens at 6 AM, and we all rush to get coffee and breakfast.

07:10 AM: Security guard arrives and asks us to move more to the left (where the mini-carpark doors are) so we won’t block the theatre side door.

08:10 AM: Security guard tells us to move from that side of the building to the other (right) side, where the stairs are.

08:15 AM to 01:30 PM: The “Midnight-Morning” groups continues to socialize as we play Heads Up and stuff like that. Some more people show up at the end of the line, roughly 6–7.

01:30 PM: The first Premium ticket is offered to the line, and we give it to Man B wanting 1 and willing to get Premium (arr. 5 AM) since the rest of us want pairs or regular price only.

01:30 PM to 06:45 PM: A period of restless waiting, eating lunch at nearby eateries, and us being asked to move back to the left side of the theatre.

06:50 PM: Box office girl comes out and gives out the first two regular price unclaimed tickets to the couple that arrived first!!

06:57: Box office girl comes out and offers a pair — the girl behind me and I pair up and we walk in crying tears of joy as we pay for each ticket separately at the cashier, make a mad dash for the coat check to check-in our coats and the bags carrying our pillows/blankets, and hurry to our seats. We’re on the right aisle of the center orchestra section in row G, so these are pretty amazing seats.

07:00: Woman rushes in and claims the one seat to the left of us, and it turns out that she was the one that was supposed to be with Man A. She took the orchestra seat, he took a standing room. The moment she sits down, opening scene begins.

As far as I know, I don’t think the Girls B got in. That means although it was a Monday and not a single line-sitter was at the theatre, they only offered a surprising SINGLE Premium ticket ($477), 5 regular-price cancellation tickets ($177), and 1 standing room ticket ($40). Total of 7 tickets, which is pretty low considering how they usually have around 8–12 and a LOT more Premiums being offered.

Our tickets (me and Girl A) were AWESOME. Like, seriously, insanely good seats. We were center orchestra on the right aisle in Row G. Perfect placement, perfect vision of everything, no uncomfortable head craning or anything. Also, it allowed me to make a quick dash to the bathroom immediately after intermission started, then get a cup of coffee, and buy a window card.

Overall…pretty good experience for me! Cancellation line people are almost always nice to each other when there are no line sitters involved. We bond, we laugh, we make jokes, we play “Heads Up!”, and we talk about our love for Broadway theatre. We held each other’s places as we took turns taking bathroom breaks and coffee breaks or even just “I need to go take a walk” breaks. This is a theatre community where we vouch for each other and I’m glad that I was able to participate in arguably the pinnacle of such an experience.

Was it tiring? Sure. Was I hungry and and thirsty? No…because I came prepared ;) Was I sick of sleeping, sitting, and standing on the cold hard floor? Yes. But was it worth it? Absolutely.

If you want to keep up with latest cancellation line experiences and figure out when you want to go (highly recommend) –– skip to the most recent pages: [Link]

My response in the same thread (under “andynihao”): [Link]