The Story of Tonight

The Story of Tonight

Joe Posnanski takes his 14-year-old daughter to see “Hamilton” on Broadway, spending a small fortune to do so. He takes her because she is obsessed with it.

Elizabeth is one of several million people — so many of them teenagers — who have become obsessed with the Broadway show “Hamilton.” It is funny, if you think about it. Kids all over America are smitten by a show about a previously minor Founding Father who probably would have gotten chucked off the $10 bill had it not been for the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

When I was Elizabeth’s age, we all wore Rush and Black Sabbath T-shirts and sang about how Mommy’s alright and Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird.

These kids are singing about Alexander Hamilton’s argument with Thomas Jefferson over a plan to establish a national bank and assume state debt.

But he also takes her because he’s a dad who recognizes the passage of time and the need to occasionally make tentpole memories with your children, memories that will stand out as they look back in life. You can’t have a lot of tentpole memories or they won’t stand out, but just a few. It’s why you sometimes see middle-aged dads with a gaggle of girls at Bieber or Taylor Swift concerts. (And I would add that not every teen obsession is deserving of a tentpole memory.)

But she will remember. That’s the thing. She will remember every detail. She will remember it the way I remember what it was like inside Cleveland Municipal Stadium with those stupid steel beams blocking every view of the field and the wind howling off of the Lake and the smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke. She will remember every little thing about that theater, about that stage, about Lin’s voice, about my jacket being around her shoulders, about Burr’s unplanned little laugh when watching King George dance, about that night.

And perhaps she will tell the story of that night for a long time to come. As a father, I wholeheartedly understand.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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