About the time I found out I was going to be a father, it was my belief I was going to be a very open-minded dad.

At least, I thought I was. My yearbook picture shows that long hair on guys doesn’t bother me. I enjoy music, even country and western.

In my high school days, Crystal Gayle was singing “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and Kenny Rogers, a former pop singer with the First Edition, had a hit with “Lucille” on the country charts.

The Bee Gees and brother Andy Gibb were all over the Top 40 charts then and Kansas was singing “Dust in the Wind.”

Well, then along came the buzz hair cut and rap music.

My teacher Jerry Laudermilk never taught us about hip-hop or rap in my Abilene Junior High School music class.

It should not have surprised me then that when I watched the movie “Hamilton” on Disney Plus Sunday that I sometimes had trouble following the lyrics which were mostly rap. I had the same problem understanding “In the Heights,” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda who also wrote and starred in “Hamilton.”

I must say the second half was easier for me to follow.

I did enjoy “Hamilton” and mainly because of its portrayal of history. Well, it was mostly accurate anyway.

It is my belief that we should study history and try not to repeat our mistakes.

My wife Kathy had already seen the performance with our daughter Robin when it was in Kansas City and she had listened to the soundtrack many times.

I wouldn’t say I am a fanatic when it comes to musicals, but I’ve attended several.

I have not actually been to Broadway which I hear is closed for the season.

My first experience was listening to the soundtrack of “Jesus Christ Superstar” which my parents weren’t real fond of.  Like “Hamilton” it was sung through, a musical with no spoken dialogue.

My other experiences with musicals was due to Mr. Laduermilk’s Abilene High School operettas. “Oklahoma” in which my brother J.D. had a role and I think he was also in “The King and I.”

I had a small role in the Junior Class Play “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It wasn’t a musical but I certainly recall getting slapped two nights in a row. It was in the script.

Our daughter Robin was a dance hall girl in “Paint Your Wagon” and had roles in “My Fair Lady” and “Guys and Dolls.”

I’ve seen “Cats” twice. Thank you, Rev. Phelps, for prompting us to explain to our young son and daughter about “Fags” as the picketers were outside the Topeka venue.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” which was one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first hits was just okay, in my opinion.

“Grease” and “Les Miserables” were other good performances.

“Newsies” was just plain fun.

“The Lion King” was in a category of its own which we saw in Chicago.

I almost bought 20 tickets in advance of sales to “Phantom of the Opera” just because I wanted to get good seats. However, I ended up waiting for tickets to go on sale the the public. We got row 120. Well it seemed like 120!

I was also disappointed in that performance.

Two of my favorites we have seen twice each are “Mamma Mia” and “Wicked.”

Because Wichita doesn’t allow scalpers to purchase bundles of tickets, we were on the front row of “Wicked.”

Maybe Disney will have a sing-a-long to “Hamilton” like CBS did with “Grease.”

Or I could take the suggestion of my wife and watch Hamilton again with the closed captioning on. At any rate, I can now say I’ve seen it and my experience with musicals has evolved.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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