Open-Ended Run in Chicago to Start September 2016
Hamilton is the biggest hit Broadway has seen in a long time. Although it opened in early August 2015, missing the cut-off for 2015 Tony Awards consideration as well as the awards themselves, Hamilton is basically considered a shoe-in for Best Musical for the Tony Awards in June 2016. Not long after this event, the first production outside of New York will begin performances. Starting September 27, 2016, Hamilton will play an open-ended run at the PrivateBank Theatre (formerly the Bank of America Theatre). One of the premiere venues for theatre in Chicago, which is the biggest theatre market in America after New York, the PrivateBank Theatre has a seating capacity of 2,016, making it a fitting place for the 2016 non-New York premiere of Hamilton. While this is even bigger than the theatre at which Hamilton is playing on Broadway – the Richard Rodgers Theatre, with a capacity of 1,319 seats, the producers have promised that the Chicago production will be the same size, volume, and quality of the Broadway run. This may mean that the show will need to ramp up its intensity a bit more to fill the larger venue, but most important is that the casting be as excellent as the Broadway production.
Although most details have not yet been revealed, it is reported that while the Broadway and Chicago runs continue open-ended, another touring company will begin hitting cities across America. While Chicago will have a foothold on the Midwest for the short term, the tour will definitely arrive in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as other cities in the United States. With such a big hit as Hamilton, it is unsurprising that other cities are clamoring for their share of the magic. As Hamilton on Broadway is still an extremely tough ticket on Broadway, chances are that the productions in other cities will be as snapped up and difficult to get. Presently, the Broadway production of Hamilton is only selling seats to the public starting August 2016, implying the performances until then are sold out. On the other hand, the re-sale market on Ticketmaster offers fan-to-fan re-sale tickets for amounts as great as $1,400, showing the huge demand for this multi-ethnic hip-hop musical dealing with 18th century politics. While the show does offer a limited number of $10 lottery tickets per performance (as Alexander Hamilton is on the $10 bill), the queue is always massive, and an attempt to switch the lottery to online immediately crashed the system.
What Explains the Popularity of “Hamilton”?
With a national tour announced months before the show will rake in at the Tony Awards, Hamilton is making waves across Broadway and beyond. The reason Hamilton is such a breakthrough has to do with more than its color-blind casting and incorporation of musical styles ranging from rap to traditional musical theatre – it also empowers people to think differently. In the era of President Barack Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda utilizes rap to show the power of rhyme in the same way the Gershwins and Cole Porter did – to underscore the emotional power or the comedy of a line. In experimenting with new forms, Miranda is bringing theatre to a wider audience, which is something the entire Broadway community can get behind.