By now, many fans of musicals have forsaken the idea of seeing the Tony-winning production Hamilton on Broadway anytime soon. The cheapest tickets, the ones that come directly from the box office, are already sold out well into 2017, and the odds are against winning cheap tickets via a daily lottery.
However, opportunities to see the musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton off-Broadway are on the way outside of New York. Previews in Chicago started Tuesday and so did ticket sales for what is planned as a 26-week performance in the Windy City. Touring companies will perform Hamilton in such cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. in 2017 and beyond.
Resale tickets to see Hamilton in Chicago are averaging $687, compared to Hamilton tickets in New York City, which are averaging $1,308. The show, which averaged an unthinkable $2,000+ on the resale market in June, has dropped significantly with the departure of creator Lin Manuel-Miranda from the cast. For most shows in New York City, the cheapest resale tickets begin in the $400-600 range, according to data provided by TicketIQ.
Additionally, theater-goers can also save money on their parking in Chicago by going through ParkWhiz.com.
The hip-hop infused musical was written by Miranda and took home 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year. Although Miranda starred in the production as the "10-dollar founding father" on Broadway, the role of Hamilton is being played in Chicago by Miguel Cervantes, best known for appearing in the Broadway production of American Idiot.
Still, there have been whispers that Miranda might pop in for a surprise appearance every so often, so don't be surprised if it's the multi-talented creator of the show rapping about democracy, banking and duels.
The rest of the cast for the Chicago production consists of a slew of Broadway favorites. Karen Olivo, a Tony winner for the role of Anita in the 2009 revival of West Side Story, plays Angelica Schuyler. Joshua Henry, who was nominated for a Tony for his performance in The Scottsboro Boys, plays Hamilton's "frenemy" Aaron Burr.
Alexander Gemignani plays King George III. He is no stranger to playing dubious characters, having appeared as John Hinckley in the 2004 production of Assassins. Ari Afsar will play Hamilton's wife Eliza, and while this is one of her first professional theatrical roles, people will most likely recognize her from her memorable appearance on American Idol.
In addition to Chicago, Hamilton will launch a national tour beginning in March next year, with announced dates for San Francisco (beginning March), Los Angeles (Aug. 11-Dec. 30), and Washington, D.C. (mid-June through mid September 2018), as well as a West End production starting in October 2017. Other cities expected to get the show are Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Denver; Des Moines; Iowa; Houston; Las Vegas; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis and Tempe, Ariz.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.