Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Expected To Leave Hamilton In June 2016 And Take The Show To Other US Cities And Then Internationally.
"Hamilton" Transforms Into Broadway Phenomenon
Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton began in January 2015 as a small Off-Broadway show at the Public Theater, and has now morphed into a Broadway phenomenon. Driving hoards of both Broadway and non-Broadway fans to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on the Great White Way, Hamilton has become a Broadway behemoth, raising over $60 million in revenue in less than one year and now has astronomical secondary ticket prices to match.
Often described as the "Cronut" of Broadway shows (this relates to the show being massively over-priced and somewhat over-hyped), Hamilton continues to grow its fan base of loyal Hamilfans, who seem that they cannot get enough of this show - until the next big thing rolls into town. Broadway stalwart, Lin-Manuel Miranda, wrote the show in collaboration with director Thomas Kail.
U.S President Has A Private Showing On Broadway
With the choreography by Andy Blankenbeuhler and a diverse Broadway cast, the show’s hip-hop rendition of Alexander Hamilton’s obscurity-to-founding father story has gotten the attention of pretty much everyone, including the U.S. President and many other Broadway notables and government dignitaries.
President Obama has seen the full show once, had a private showing on Broadway to raise money for The Democratic National Committee (where he reportedly just caught the tail end of the show due to official business getting in the way) and had two cut-down private performances at The White House, in Washington DC.
Original Cast Receives A Cut Of The Profits
The show has now earned so much money, in such a short time, that the producers are giving a cut of the profits to original cast members, which is a potential, and unexpected, windfall for everyone concerned. Hamilton has become a true Broadway success story in such a short window of time, faster than any other show before, setting a new standard in Broadway show recoupment (as traditionally only 20 percent of Broadway shows recoup their investment).
Miranda Expected To Leave The Show
A punishing performance schedule will often take its toll on a show's lead actors and, not surprisingly, Lin-Manuel Miranda is expected to leave the show soon after the Tony Awards in June 2016. It is possible Miranda will perform at the permanent show that opens in Chicago on September 27, 2016, and/or on the national tour of the show in 2017, which will travel to multiple destinations across the U.S. including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Other potential stops on the East Coast include Boston and Philadelphia. With Miranda’s departure from the lead role, this may reduce the audience fervor in the permanent show on Broadway, but will still drive sales of the touring show in which he may appear.
Hip-Hop Skills Needed For Miranda's Replacement
Secondary-market ticket prices are expected to peak for Miranda’s last performances on Broadway. His lead role in the show will be tough to fill, but perfect shoo-ins for his replacement could include Kanye West, Drake, Childish Gambino, Fetty Wap, Common and will.i.am - although none have yet confirmed their interest, they all possess the hip-hop and singing/acting skills needed to keep the momentum of the sit-down Broadway show alive.
Unlike The Book of Mormon, critics agree that the lead actor in Hamilton (Miranda) is bigger than the show itself, something the producers will want to shake off to be able to market the brand to multiple locations at the same time, because Miranda cannot be omnipresent at all the Hamilton productions. Any lesser name to fill Miranda’s Broadway role could result in a secondary ticket market price crash, ultimately affecting the overall brand and the value and success of the semi-permanent show in Chicago and the touring shows.
Secondary Market Ticket Prices Poised To Skyrocket
One of the downsides of a successful Broadway show like Hamilton is that the ticket market is often manipulated by secondary-market ticket brokers, often sending ticket prices into the stratosphere and out-of-reach of Broadway show fans. The ticket brokers' pricing for this show have skyrocketed in recent months, with the actual production not receiving any financial benefit from the financial madness. Things are actually getting worse, with a number of factors that are also adding to the short-term hype of the show, including:
- The expected increase of the face value of premium tickets to be raised from $549 to $995
- Multiple presidential engagements that have promoted the show through a variety of media channels
- Hamilton is a shoo-in for the 2016 TONY Awards, deservedly expected to sweep all categories at the show on June 12, 2016 on CBS
- The recent Pulitzer Prize for Drama (a milestone that only a handful of Broadway musicals have earned)
- Winning the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album
- Miranda's cover of TIME magazine and being named one of the top 100 most influential people
- The Amazon best-seller companion book
- The expected departure of Lin-Manuel Miranda from the show
- The change-of-heart by the Obama administration not to replace Alexander Hamilton on the face of the $10 bill, reportedly due to Miranda's influence.
"Hamilton" Could Be Most Expensive Broadway Show Ever
Given these various unique situations, a Hamilton ticket is expected to become even hotter over the next three months. The show is poised to become the most expensive Broadway show ticket ever, with secondary market tickets currently being offered for over $3000. It is anticipated that $5000 will be the new price tag for this show, that only the well-heeled can afford.
After Miranda departs the show, the secondary ticket market may experience a crash in prices. Hamilton's advance ticket sales have already hit $80 million as every day ticket brokers are buying up every available ticket for nine months in advance, regardless of whether Miranda is in the show or not.
Tony Awards 2016 Viewership At Risk
The great success of Hamilton has the 2016 Tony Award TV show producers a bit worried, as TV viewership may be down due to the monotony of giving out the awards to the same show over and over again.
Still, Miranda should be very pleased with the fact he, and his amazing show, have become household names across the U.S., and it’s not even over yet. After the U.S. tour, the Hamilton brand is expected to go international, much like the Chicago and The Lion King brands that have gone before.