Hamilton’s moving on up. What would you have done?
There has been a historical amount of buzz about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s The Hamilton Mixtape (the original title) since . . . well, since he first told people he was writing it! Maestro Miranda had already ushered in a new type of Broadway storytelling with his first show, In the Heights, so the industry was like a kid waiting for Xmas to roll around when we all heard he was putting pen to paper and working on his second musical.
Someone outside the Broadway biz asked me why there was so much attention around the debut of the now titled Hamilton this spring. I’ve never responded so quickly. “Imagine if Jonathan Larson had lived to write a second musical. That’s what we’re witnessing.”
And from what I hear, The Miranda-Man is not disappointing.
So much so that the run at the Public was extended twice, scalpers are charging a cool grand for tickets, and it got across the board raves.
All this success had the Producers thinking like a quarterback who gets ready to take a snap and notices that a different play might lead to a quicker touchdown.
Do they come in early and beat the Tony deadline? Some people argued that they were guaranteed to sweep if they made a quick transfer.
Do they wait and come in the fall? Some people argued that letting the run at the Public be the hottest ticket in town would only build buzz and fervor for the fall transfer, guaranteeing a big advance, and giving the creatives time to make the show even more thrilling than it already is. But what if next season’s landscape changed and another Hamilton-like show surprised the street late next spring? Do you open when you know what your competition is, or when you don’t? (Broadway is filled with stories of surprise hits that shocked the pundits, including Rent.)
Or do you do what the Producers of Hamilton actually did and announce the move but open it in the summer? A time a lot of buzz-fueled shows don’t open, because the early adopter smart and savvy New Yorkers are all in the Hamptons for the summer.
Decisions, decisions, decisions . . .
Just another day in the life of a Producer.
That’s why we’re going to play one of my favorite games . . . You Make The Call!
Let’s all hope that one day you’ve developed a show with such steam that you have to make a decision like this . . . and to train yourself for that day, tell me what you would have done if you were the Producer of Hamilton. Moved it? Waited? Opened in the summer? Opened next spring?
Comment below with what call you would have made.
And then next season, we’ll watch all the “drama” play out.
(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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