One of my personal — OK selfish — hopes for 2020 is to finally see Lin Manuel Miranda’s heralded play “Hamilton.”
To be honest, I’ve been waiting for the prices to come down. Tickets do cost less than they did a year or two ago. But when I checked Thursday, decent seats from the theater were still close to $300 on the days I wanted. The best I could find on StubHub was $224 each — plus service charges.
Though I’ve yet to see the show, I have gotten to know some of the songs from the soundtrack, which I bought on Amazon Music and listen to from time to time when working out at the Sunbury YMCA.
One of my favorites is “The Room Where it Happens.” I understand, from what I’ve read, that the song is a real showstopper. According to the synopsis online, Alexander Hamilton has just come from a secret meeting, at which he, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison have agreed to put the new nation’s capital city in the South. In return, they support Hamilton’s financial plan that includes having the federal government assume state debts.
Aaron Burr is envious, wishes he had been in the room and the song ensues.
Part of the lyrics go like this:
“No one really knows how the game is played
“The art of the trade
“How the sausage gets made
“We just assume that it happens
“But no one else is in
“The room where it happens.”
Whenever I hear that song, I think about the role journalists play and how important that role still is.
People are generally very busy and have little time to head out to government meetings or to engage elected officials in conversations of substance. (Those who do make the time are to be congratulated.)
We’re there in those rooms. And with those people. And because of the experience and skills of our team of reporters and the relationships they have with the people in the rooms, they bring you there every day, online and in print.
Community newspapers are the heart and soul of American journalism. While we publish a representative daily report of what’s going on across the nation and world, we spend most of our time and just about all of our resources making sure you know what your town or borough or city elected officials are doing, what law enforcement is investigating, what the school boards are planning, etc.
We’re in the room. And, when the occasion arises where officials try to keep us outside the room, we work hard within the parameters of Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law and the Office of Open Records to try to unlock the door to the information you are legally allowed to have.
We also bring you into the room by giving you a voice and a platform to express your views on important community issues.
Don’t think for a moment that the people in the room aren’t paying attention to what you are saying.
Of course, as I’ve written in this space before, we can only keep doing all this if you support us with your subscriptions.
It’s a pretty small price to pay for admission every day to the rooms where things happen.
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