BWW Blog: Kellie Williams - Ham4Ham Obituary
On Wednesday August 31st, 2016, Rory O'Malley hosted Hamilton's last live lottery drawing show. The popular tradition had only been around for just over a year, but in that year it won the hearts of many Hamilfans just looking for their shot at the hottest ticket in town. Although it is truly sad to see Ham4Ham go, I choose to celebrate its short but illustrious life.
Ham4Ham was born on July 15, 2015 outside the Richard Rodgers Theater. It was welcomed by an eager crowd of lottery hopefuls. As time went on and tickets became even harder to get as Hamilton generated more and more buzz, the crowds grew larger and larger, but never large enough to stop Ham4Ham. And the guests were never limited to Hamilton cast members. Stars from all over the Great White Way came to join in the fun. With warm weather on its side, Ham4Ham kept going strong through the summer and the fall.
Then the winter came. It was getting colder, and the sound system was not always cooperative. So what did Ham4Ham do? It didn't give up. It went digital. Now fans from anywhere who could get to the theater by the time of the show could enter. Even better, instead of having to wait outside in the cold for a performance (or hope that Howard Sherman would post a video of said performance), the mini-shows were posted online. Ham4Ham continued this way for about three months.
In April 2016, the live Ham4Ham made its triumphant return, and was once again met with great crowds. The live shows have occurred weekly ever since, even after Rory O'Malley took over for Lin-Manuel Miranda as host. The torch was passed in July 2016; who would have guessed that Ham4Ham would be gone so soon after?
I only physically attended a few Ham4Hams over the course of the year, however I will miss them dearly. I am lucky to have witnessed any, even if only a handful, of Hamilton's efforts to reach more audiences. Ham4Ham is survived by its even more popular counterpart, the Broadway Direct digital lottery, and hopefully, the occasional digital Ham4Ham. You'll always be in the Broadway fan community's collective heart, Ham4Ham.