Broadway in Chicago and the producers of Hamilton have announced that a new block of tickets for the Chicago production will go on sale on Tuesday, May 8. And there’s good reason to believe that these new dates, which will extend Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit show through January 20, 2019 at the CIBC Theatre, will be the last to be made available.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Hamilton Chicago
By January 20, Hamilton will have played nearly 28 months and close to 1,000 performances in Chicago. That’s far longer than the initial Chicago “sit-downs” of The Book of Mormon or Billy Elliot; it even edges out the two-year-plus Chicago run of Jersey Boys by a few weeks. As far as I can tell, Wicked, with its 2005–2009 stint at the Oriental Theatre, will be the only show to have run longer under the Broadway in Chicago banner.
Several of the leading actors who opened Chicago’s Hamilton on October 19, 2016 have all moved on: Our first Aaron Burr and King George, Joshua Henry and Alexander Gemignani, both received Tony Award nominations this week for their new project, the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. Chicago’s first Angelica Schuyler, Karen Olivo, is playing the Nicole Kidman role in a stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge! that’s opening in Boston next month and is expected to go to Broadway. Our opening night Alexander Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes, is still in the Chicago company, but his alternate, Joseph Morales, departed to lead one of two touring companies now traversing the country.
And as the Tribune’s Chris Jones noted a few months back, when he made his own prediction that Hamilton Chicago would end its run next January, one of those two touring companies is going to be crowding pretty close to Chicago soon. Though exact dates haven’t been confirmed, Midwestern cities from Milwaukee to Madison to Indianapolis to Grand Rapids to Appleton, Wisconsin have been guaranteed that Hamilton will visit their local touring houses in the 2019–2020 season. Detroit and East Lansing will see the show even sooner, sometime in the 2018–2019 season.
I’m not Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, but I can imagine how it might be harder to sell those short runs in all those cities within driving distance of Chicago if the folks in Michigan and Wisconsin and Indiana think they can always just go see the show here instead. So even though I’m no fortune teller, I’m joining Jones in his educated guess that this new block, covering September 4, 2018 through January 20, 2019, will be the last for the dedicated Chicago production of Hamilton. The show will swing back through again, no doubt, as The Book of Mormon has done repeatedly since its initial departure in 2013. But if you want to see Hamilton in Chicago and reasonably soon, I wouldn’t wait until the closing notice is posted. The (final?) block goes on sale at 10am Tuesday via Ticketmaster and at the CIBC Theatre box office.