The record-smashing Broadway musical Hamilton will make its Pittsburgh premiere in January 2019 courtesy of a nationally touring production.
The dates at the Benedum Center, long awaited by fans, were announced Monday night at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust event where Broadway series subscribers hear about the new season.
The 2018-19 series includes seven productions in all, but the big news of course was Hamilton, a show so massive that it’s inspired a cottage industry of jokes about how hard it is to get tickets to it. Composer Lin-Manuel Miranda's work was a critical and commercial hit starting with its premiere off-Broadway, in 2015.
Hamilton has also inspired obvious enthusiasm in Pittsburgh: The event drew about 2,000 to the Benedum Center, the most ever for a season announcement, and Trust CEO Kevin McMahon announced that the 2017-18 Broadway series season set its own record for subscribers -- in part, he didn't need to add, because current subscribers who re-up are guaranteed seats to Hamilton.
Hamilton, inspired by historian Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, is a contemporary take on the founding father who’s on the $10 bill and was the first Secretary of the Treasury. The show incorporates hip-hop, soul music and more, and was noted for casting performers of color to play such iconic Americans as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Aaron Burr.
The show won 11 Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the latter a rarity for the musical.
Hamilton also made Miranda, previously best known for the Broadway hit In the Heights, a virtual household name.
The show will run for four weeks at the Benedum Center, starting on New Year's Day.
Hamilton tickets are guaranteed only to current subscribers who resubscribe (and who starting Tuesday have several weeks to purchase one additional season subscription). Starting April 2, the Trust will make a limited number of subscriptions available to new subscribers.
Individual tickets to Hamilton will be available sometime this fall, according to McMahon, who said those tickets would number in "the many, many thousands."McMahon added that ticket-buyers can avoid the inflated prices and the risk of invalid tickets that comes with buying on the secondary market by purchasing direct from trustarts.org.
Monday night's event was hosted by KDKA-TV anchor Ken Rice. Because Hamilton's inclusion in the Broadway-series season was announced last year, perhaps the biggest surprise was that Hamilton only slightly overshadowed several of the other shows on the schedule, most of which will also be Pittsburgh premieres.
The season opens this September with the acclaimed farce The Play That Goes Wrong. In October comes the new musical Anastasia. Hamilton is followed in January by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the stage adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl book. April 2019 brings Come From Away, the new musical about 7,000 airline passengers stranded in a small Newfoundland town the day after Sept. 11, 2001. (The announcement of this show was accompanied by a song from the score sung live by the performer who played a female airline pilot in it on Broadway -- and also an appearance by the pioneering real-life pilot the character was based on.)
The season closes in May 2019 with Dear Evan Hansen, the 2017 Tony-winner for Best Musical, and also includes a production of the classic Fiddler on the Roof.