Hamilton stage door?
December 8, 2015 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I see Hamilton on Broadway TONIGHT. I am SO EXCITED. I also spent $$$$$$$$$$ on my ticket and want to make the most of the experience, and would love to swarm the stage door seeking autographs after (?) the show like I have seen people do. How do I do that? Where do I go? What is the etiquette?

I've never been this into a musical before and have never done (or really seen the point of) the autograph thing before, but now I'm in love with a musical and the cast. In as detailed a way as possible, can you tell me how I should go about this? Like, literally:

-Where should I go/stand at the theater?
-What should I bring?
-What time might the cast come out?

Explain it to me like I'm a small, obsessed 5-year-old with a late bedtime.
posted by verbyournouns to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

The stage door at the Richard Rodgers is to the left of the theater entrance as you exit and is marked on West 46th street. There will be barricades outside the door, and easy to spot. I'm not sure how long it will take folks to come out (some days if they have pressing obligations, they will not come out the stage door at all), but bring a Sharpie with you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:14 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Sharpie and a Playbill. I would bring two Sharpies as the is the possibility that you don't get one back from a signer if they start using it for others. The etiquette is the same as always, please, thank you and don't get into their grill.
posted by AugustWest at 2:27 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

So, I've done the stage door thing in two very different sets of circumstances - one for a show where the people were, like, "Broadway famous" (i.e., they were big names on Broadway but the wider world hadn't necessarily heard of them - think, like, Anthony Rapp), and a couple for shows where the people were "Hollywood famous" (Daniel Radcliffe in EQUUS, David Tennant in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, etc.). I mention that because the etiquette was a little different for each.

For the "Hollywood famous" shows, the stars came out with their own Sharpies, and the only thing they signed was your program, and the only thing they wrote on your program was their name. There was always a big crowd by the stage door, with barricades up surrounding that little patch of sidewalk outside the door. I got into the crowd and got as close as I could, and then first Richard Griffiths came out and everyone in the crowd started waving their programs at him and he would just grab ones and sign them as fast as he could and hand them back; same with Daniel Radcliffe. And the same thing happened with David Tennant in MUCH ADO, except he was also nice enough to look people in the eye when he was taking their programs, and if you said something when he was signing he'd usually make a quip back.

For the "Broadway famous" show, I brought a pen, and i brought a photo - I was seeing the Broadway production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," and I was going to see it on my Birthday, so I got my mom to send me a blowup of a photo of me on my second birthday with my new Snoopy doll - and as each cast member came out, I held it out and explained "today is my 29th birthday, and this is me on my second birthday; can I get your autograph on this, please?" And everyone I approached did so, and was perfectly lovely. (The only autograph I didn't get was Kristen Chenowith, and that's only because a whole mob of kids surrounded her the instant she came out and I never got close.)

I'm mentioning both of those scenarios because Hamilton may be right on the edge BETWEEN "Broadway famous" and "Hollywood famous". So what I'd do is:

* Bring a pen just in case.
* If you have some kind of totemic object that's not too weird, MAYBE bring that. Otherwise just use your program. If you use your program, be sure to open it up to the page you want them to sign on (usually they like to go for the page with their names on it).
* Go to the stage door and size up the situation after. If it's a huge crowd, you may only be able to get away with them grabbing your program out of the crowd and they may barely hear you say "thanks!" But if it's a smaller, more chill crowd, or they seem nice and not in a rush, MAYBE you can crack a joke or say something more.
* please and thank you and don't get into their grill is always a rule of thumb.
* There's always the chance you'll just get overlooked in the crowd; don't take it personally. (I never got Daniel Radclife's autograph, simply because i was behind three people and he didn't see me.)

You may have to wait about 15-20 minutes, but there'll be a crowd there as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:40 PM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

I would expect the stage door for "Hamilton" to be mobbed based on the reaction my wife described at Lin-Manuel Miranda's appearance at the National Museum of American History last month. Have your program and your Sharpie but don't expect much interaction. Even when shows aren't completely mobbed, sometimes the actors just can't deal (e.g. when we saw "Talk Radio" Liev Schreiber signed a couple autographs and then split, but Peter Hermann allowed us to get a photo with him).
posted by fedward at 4:15 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

We've done the stage door thing for both Hollywood famous (Vanessa Hudgens in Gigi) and non-famous (Newsies). In all instances the performers had their own Sharpies, but it's probably not a bad idea to bring one yourself just in case. The wait can vary tremendously; we waited an hour for Vanessa (and got snowed on) but 15-20 minutes is probably more typical.

If it's a popular show like Hamilton or a famous performer the crowd will be huge and if you aren't among the first couple rows of people your chances of getting an autograph are pretty slim. If that's important to you I would try to get out of the theater as soon as the show ends, before curtain calls. There will be others doing the same thing.

Also, for future reference, if you Google Broadway stage doors you'll find websites listing the locations of all of them.

(PS: I'm so jealous! I'm trying to decide whether to shell out the mega bucks to see it over the holidays or get the regular price tickets and have to wait until April.)
posted by Bresciabouvier at 6:46 PM on December 8, 2015

Response by poster: Bresciabouvier I think the answer is that you should do both! Thanks for the input, guys--got a few signatures and a photo with Lin-Manuel Miranda which also though reminded me that we're not best friends (yet) which was a little sad. But the whole experience was amazing!
posted by verbyournouns at 10:12 PM on December 8, 2015 [16 favorites]

Could you possibly see the show tonight, and go back with your program and Sharpie on a subsequent night? That would enable you to get to the stage door well ahead of the crowd leaving the theater after the performance.

On review, I see that you've already gone and were successful. But my strategy could work in the future, no?
posted by Dolley at 9:53 AM on December 9, 2015

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