The hottest Broadway musical of the season isn’t on Broadway—yet. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton opened on Tuesday at the Public Theater to rave reviews, setting off a ticket-buying frenzy to the show’s sold-out run at the House Joe Papp Built as theatergoers scramble for tickets before the inevitable move uptown. With two extensions already added, the show—American history wrapped in rap, as song-and-danced through the eyes of Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton—is slated to close May 3 at the Public’s Newman Theatre. The Public hasn’t seen this kind of action since A Chorus Line opened in the same venue 40 years ago.The hardest tickets to score are for performances before the planned departure of Brian d’Arcy James, who plays King George but leaves March 1 to star with Christian Borle in another new musical, Something Rotten (“Say it ain’t so,” wrote Ben Brantley in his NYTimes review of Hamilton). The Public Theater website says no tickets are available for any performances of Hamilton. But euphemistcally-nomenclatured “resale marketplace” ticket re-sellers tell a different story that would probably appeal to the orphan-immigrant-turned-Treasury-Secretary hero of the show: Come up with the cash and you can get great seats at the intimate Newman: Current price tag is as much as $828 per ticket.
No word yet from producers Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman, who “enhanced” (another fine euphemism) the Public Theater production and have the rights to move it uptown. As a side note, that sets up a competition worth following: Something Rotten is produced by Kevin McCollum, Sellers’ partner on Miranda’s Tony-winning In The Heights, as well as two previous smash hits, Rent and Avenue Q and this season’s honorable failure, The Last Ship. Both are committed to bringing new works to the revival museum that is Broadway. That benefits everyone, enterprising competition being a concept the Founding Fathers apparently agreed on. And who doesn’t love a good old-fashion Broadway rivalry?