In “Hamilton”’s original incarnation, the Broadway hit stands as one of the most acclaimed musicals of all time. It drew sellout crowds from the start and won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, just short of the 12 won by “The Producers” 15 years earlier.
As a measure of its popularity with the general public, “Hamilton” grossed a record $161 million on Broadway last season. It also won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama, a Grammy Award for best musical theater album, a Dramatists Guild of America Award and 11 Broadway.com Audience Awards.
The most recent “Hamilton” accolade is receiving a Kennedy Center Honor, the first-ever bestowed on a piece of contemporary art rather than an individual.
“In recognizing ‘Hamilton’ and its co-creators, the Kennedy Center is making an unprecedented statement about an unprecedented work ... that transcends cultural boundaries and tells America’s story in a powerful and contemporary way,” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a statement.
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The production, based on Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography, follows the life and career of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), a key figure in the history of America’s revolution. But creator Lin-Manuel Miranda reinvents the story with a multiracial cast and a modern hip-hop soundtrack.
Even with a different cast than the Broadway actors who racked up Tony Awards, that acclaim has continued with the touring production of “Hamilton.” It, too, has picked up raves since debuting last year and opens a nearly month-long run at Durham Performing Arts Center from Nov. 6 through Dec. 2.
Tickets go on sale Aug. 18, both online and in person with prices of $78.50-$188.50, and a select number of $398.50 premium seats. We expect tickets to sell out.
But, all isn’t lost. There will be a lottery of 40 tickets at $10 apiece for all performances. Details for the lottery will be announced at a later date. In other cities, the process involved a special app to enter in the days before each show date.
Some season tickets for DPAC “Hamilton” dates already have turned up on secondary-market broker sites like SeatGeek, at stratospheric prices up to $2,000.
Beware of these deals. Shelling out that kind of money is risky because DPAC warns that tickets purchased from “unauthorized sources” (anything other than its box office or Ticketmaster) “may be stolen, counterfeit or invalid due to payment issues and will not be honored.”
DPAC management has a warning video on the venue website.
‘Hamilton’: The reviews
As for the show itself, here is a sampling of some of the reviews that “Hamilton” has received in other cities this year for the touring production. While getting tickets won’t be easy or cheap, of course, they just might be worth it.
Paste magazine (Atlanta, May):
“What remains the same (from Broadway) is just how powerful of a musical ‘Hamilton’ is, and how those who only know it from the music are in for a treat when they see how much richer everything is on stage. The rollercoaster of emotions from ‘Helpless’ to ‘Satisfied.’ The hilarity of every moment King George is present. The simple optimism of ‘Dear Theodosia.’ The spectacle of ‘What’d I Miss ...’
“And the tragic beauty of Hamilton’s death scene, a gripping tone poem that begins the ending. It’s gorgeous, gripping, tragic and hopeful. And it’s still the best thing I’ve ever seen on a stage.”
Denver Post (Denver, March):
“The masterpiece that is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ is a seamless wonder that apparently travels well. Not having seen it on Broadway I can’t offer a comparison, but also can’t imagine being more thrilled, moved or amazed … ‘Hamilton’ isn’t just a buzz-y hit of the moment. It is a pop-cultural phenom that really could change musical theater forever.”
AZ Central (Phoenix, February):
“It has wit. It has intrigue. It has pathos. It has compelling themes, such as the one articulated by the character of George Washington: ‘You have no control: Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?’ And the hip-hop/R&B score and the diverse casting, far from being incidental or gimmicky, constitute (pun intended) the narrative’s central metaphor, embodying the revolutionary excitement of the era and expanding the American dream to include those who were marginalized at the time, and now — minorities, immigrants, women.”
Spokesman Review (Seattle, February):
“Without the stage tricks, ‘Hamilton’ unfolds through song and dance and acting. Its unlikely marriage of history, monetary policy, hip-hop and Broadway, told by a multicultural cast, just works. It’s like an episode of ‘Schoolhouse Rock,’ only way better.”
DC Metro Theater Arts (Washington, D.C., June):
“This ‘Hamilton’ is sharp. It’s energetic. It’s youthful. And it’s as poignant as ever in the nation’s capital where Eliza Hamilton once helped raise funds to build the Washington Monument. Now that is a legacy.”
What to know
“Hamilton” will be at Durham Performing Arts Center Nov. 6 through Dec. 2.
Tickets go on sale Aug. 18, with prices of $78.50-$188.50, with a select number of $398.50 premium seats.
There will be a lottery of 40 tickets at $10 apiece for all performances. Details for the lottery will be announced at a later date.
Be cautious about buying tickets on secondary sites. DPAC warns that tickets purchased from “unauthorized sources” (anything other than its box office or Ticketmaster) “may be stolen, counterfeit or invalid due to payment issues and will not be honored.”
See the complete “Hamilton” FAQ at dpacnc.com/home/hamilton-dpac-complete-faq.