“My name is Alexander Hamilton, / And there’s a million things I haven’t done,” sings composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda early in Hamilton, which is stone-cold sold out at the Public Theater and is already hailed as the best new musical in years. Come this summer, the rapping version of the guy on your $10 bill can cross at least one item off his to-do list: transfer to Broadway.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Hamilton on Broadway
At a press conference this afternoon, Public Theater head Oskar Eustis, along with Miranda and the production cast and crew, surprised everyone who had been expecting news of a spring transfer to Broadway. Hamilton will instead play out its run at the Public through May 3, undergo some tweaks, and then move to the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Previews will start July 13, and the Broadway opening is August 6. That will make Hamilton Miranda’s third Broadway show (after 2008’s In the Heights and 2012's Bring It On) as well as a contender in the 2016 Tonys.
What this means for you: Impossible-to-get tickets are still ungettable, unless you're patient. They won’t be cheap, and you have to wait till the summer, but you won’t have to pay some sleazeball upwards of $800. Tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster March 8. What's more, the version you see on Broadway might be an improvement of an already great show.
What this means for the Tony Awards: It has been a weak season for musicals (Sting’s The Last Ship should have run longer, but went down). The big spring shows are a mixed bag: It Shoulda Been You, Doctor Zhivago, An American in Paris, Something Rotten! and Finding Neverland—there might be winners in there but no one is swooning in advance. The exception is Fun Home, the wry, dark and beautifully constructed graphic-novel-turned-musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. Small but already beloved, Fun Home was pegged as the artful front-runner for Best New Musical. If Hamilton transferred to Broadway early, everything would change. So Fun Home's producers just heaved a huge sigh of relief.
What this means for the Public Theater: Hamilton and Fun Home both originated at the House That Joe Papp Built. What an incredible couple of seasons it has been for the Public. Even when the shows don’t quite gel (as with The Fortress of Solitude or Giant), their intelligence and integrity is miles ahead of most Broadway fare. Nothing is guaranteed, but if Fun Home wins in June and Hamilton does the same a year later, the Public will have immense bragging rights as the city's most thrilling incubator for great new musicals.