Some half a million theatergoers have already seen the hottest musical of the decade, shelling out hundreds of dollars for tickets to see Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton sing and rap about our scrappiest Founding Father at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. That represents big business for Broadway but only a tiny sliver of the American population–and a well-heeled one at that.
The good news is a lot more Americans will soon get their chance to see Hamilton. A Chicago production will open in September and run for at least a year, and a national tour will kick off in San Francisco in March 2017, followed by stops in cities from Las Vegas to Atlanta. International productions are likely on the way too.
Back in Manhattan, the Broadway production just raised prices on its most expensive tickets to subsidize more low-cost orchestra seats, boosting its number of $10 lottery tickets from 21 to 46 per performance. More than 20,000 kids in New York City schools, many from low-income neighborhoods, will get to see the show and study a Hamilton-related curriculum. A similar educational program will accompany the Chicago production.
Some viewers may even get their first Hamilton experience on a screen: before Miranda and several of the other marquee stars exit the Broadway production this summer, they’re taping live performances of the show, though the exact plans for how they will be aired have not been settled. Other offshoots include The Hamilton Mixtape, an album featuring covers of the score by artists like Common, Queen Latifah and Chance the Rapper, due out in November, and a PBS documentary, Hamilton’s America, set to air in October, about the making of the show.
These extra productions and projects will be lucrative for Miranda and the producers of Hamilton–the show is expected to eventually gross $1 billion in sales. But ultimately they’ll give more people a chance to be in the room where Hamilton happens.