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Arts & Culture

Hamiltunes Brings A Bit of 'Hamilton' To San Diego

A group of "Hamilton" fans perform along with the soundtrack at San Diego's first Hamiltunes singalong event.
Nina Garin
A group of "Hamilton" fans perform along with the soundtrack at San Diego's first Hamiltunes singalong event.

"Hamilton: An American Musical" isn't scheduled to come to San Diego until 2018, but to some diehard fans, that feels like an eternity.

So, not able to wait (for it), about 100 "Hamilton" fans gathered at the Diversionary Black Box in Hillcrest on Saturday, Nov. 5 for the city's first Hamilutunes: An American Singalong.

This event, which is also popping up in cities like New York, L.A., San Fransisco and DC, is arranged and attended by "Hamilton" fans so they can sing and act along with the Grammy-winning soundtrack.

"I like the idea of being the star of your own 'Hamilton," said co-organizer Brandon Hensgens.

Hamiltunes organizer Brandon Hensgens.
Hamiltunes organizer Brandon Hensgens.

While Hamiltunes in other cities is often accompanied by many pints of Sam Adams, the one at the Diversionary was all-ages, attracting fans as young as 8-years-old.

Also organized by Jen Abundez, the event gave singers and musical theater fans an outlet to geek out in a safe, supportive space.

"This event was for people who like to sing in their cars and aren't necessarily performers," Hensgens said. "We made it all-ages because we didn't want to alienate anyone. 'Hamilton' is an all-ages thing. It's exposing young kids to hip hop and rap and history all in one."

Young fans sing along to the "Hamilton" soundtrack at Hamiltunes San Diego.
Young fans sing along to the "Hamilton" soundtrack at Hamiltunes San Diego.

The three-hour singalong was divided into two groups, those who wanted to get on stage and sing, and those who just wanted to watch and sing along from their seat. For the singers, nearly 200 singing slots were divided up via Google Doc a few weeks before the event.

Proceeds from the $6 tickets went toward paying for the theater space. Any leftover funds will be used for future events and will also be donated to the Survivors of Torture charity.

A second Hamiltunes: An American Singalong is scheduled Friday, Dec. 23 at (appropriately) the Lafayette Hotel. Tickets will go on sale at 7 p.m. Nov. 21. A link will be added on the Hamiltunes San Diego Facebook page.

Until then, here's a look into the room where it happened:

Hamiltunes San Diego
"Everyone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!" The crowd at Hamiltunes sings "Guns and Ships."
"Everyone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!" The crowd at Hamiltunes sings "Guns and Ships."
Hamiltunes brought together musical theater fans from all over Southern California.
Hamiltunes brought together musical theater fans from all over Southern California.
A group of "Hamilton" fans perform at the Hamiltunes sing along event.
A group of "Hamilton" fans perform at the Hamiltunes sing along event.
Beth Sohngen drove from San Pedro to attend Hamiltunes.
Beth Sohngen drove from San Pedro to attend Hamiltunes.

Hamiltunes San Diego Finale