New York City’s Broadway Theater business is booming in attendance and revenues. With exciting new plays, long-runners and revivals, the theater district is enjoying an economic boom.
No small contributor to this phenomenon is the new musical/drama “Hamilton,” setting new records for ticket demand and SRO sales. The show was inspired by the 2004 biography “Alexander Hamilton,” by historian Ron Chernow. The hip-hop historical production is the brainchild of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist and star of the production and the former lead of the highly successful Broadway production of “In the Heights.”
According to Chernow’s book as reported in the New Yorker Magazine, “Hamilton” is the story of the American immigrant Alexander Hamilton who rose to power and position in a new nation despite seemingly overwhelming circumstances. Hamilton was born in 1755 out of wedlock, raised in poverty in St. Croix, abandoned by his father, orphaned by his mother as a child, and found his way to pre-Revolutionary New York City as an adolescent with revolutionary ideas. He was a prolific writer, known for his eloquence and became the author of most of the Federalist Papers.
After serving as then-General George Washington’s aide, as the new republic took shape, Hamilton founded the US monetary system and became the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, earning him a permanent place as the face on the $10 bill from 1861 up until today. Alexander Hamilton was at the center of our nation’s first political sex scandal when his extramarital affair became public, and later, before the age of 50, was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr in 1804 after a personal dispute had escalated beyond remediation.
Miranda read Chernow’s account of Hamilton’s life and saw parallels between the life and writings of the Revolutionary hero and, of all people – late rapper artist Tupac Shakur.
After several months of previews and even an earlier presentation for the White House, “Hamilton” opened on Broadway in July 2015 and has since brought in over $54.6 million in revenue, with an average paid seat price of $151.35 and the average top ticket price of $410.29.
While in the midst of setting these financial records on Broadway, “Hamilton” has also reached the pinnacle of critical acclaim for some of the toughest New York theater critics. Look for “Hamilton” to sweep this year’s Tony nominations in April and the Tony Awards presentations in June. And also look for Broadway to respond to Hamilton fever with more daring cross-media inspired productions to keep bringing home the bacon to Broadway and other major cities as national tours criss-cross the country.
Back to Home