The mad dash for “Hamilton” seats begins Wednesday. Read an update here on how that's going (spoiler: it's a mad dash).
Starting at 10 a.m., theatergoers can buy season packages that include tickets for the eagerly anticipated hip-hop musical, which finally comes to Minneapolis Aug. 29, three years after becoming the hottest ticket on Broadway.
Crowds were expected to gather outside the State Theatre ticket office before the building opens at 5 a.m.
“We don’t expect that people will be camping out overnight,” said Dale Stark, spokesperson for the Hennepin Theatre Trust. “The last time we saw activity like that was around ‘The Book of Mormon,’ and that was in the middle of the summer.”
Stark said 70 percent or more of tickets for popular shows are purchased online. “We strongly encourage people not to brave the elements,” he said.
How do I buy a season package?
There are three ways. Go online at hennepintheatretrust.org. Purchase by phone at 1-800-859-7469. Or do it old-school at the State box office, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis.
“Those are the only ways to purchase packages and guarantee that your tickets are valid,” Stark said.
How much does it cost?
Subscription packages for Hennepin Theatre Trust’s 2018-19 season range from $359 to $1,019 per seat.
Current season-ticket holders actually got first crack at the 2018-19 season packages that include “Hamilton.” They were able to renew their subscriptions starting Monday.
Is there a limit?
You can purchase up to four season tickets.
What other shows does the season package include?
It’s a mixed bag that includes one other big hit, “Dear Evan Hansen,” which won the Tony Award for best musical the year after “Hamilton” did. As for the rest, there are two old chestnuts (“Fiddler on the Roof” and “Hello, Dolly!”), two solid Broadway shows (“A Bronx Tale” and “The Play That Goes Wrong”) and two flops trying to recoup their investments on the road (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the Gloria Estefan jukebox musical “On Your Feet!”).
Will individual tickets be available?
Yes, but no date has been announced. New and renewing subscribers are expected to take about 15,000 tickets, according to Jim Sheeley, president of the Historic Theatre Group, which manages the Orpheum, State and Pantages theaters. That would leave 105,000 tickets for other patrons.
How much will individual tickets cost?
Single-ticket prices have not been announced, but for the touring production opening soon in Denver, most seats range from $75 to $165, with a select number of “premium” seats priced at $585 (plus fees, of course).
Are group sales available?
Will there be a lottery for cheap seats?
Yes, but details have not been announced. In Denver, 40 seats to every performance will be offered at $10 apiece. People can enter a lottery two days in advance, either online or via an app. Winners are announced at 11 a.m. the day of the show.
So what’s the fuss all about?
Adapting Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, writer/composer/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda used a revolutionary art form — hip-hop — to deftly tell the fateful story of the nation’s founding. The musical wowed Broadway, winning 11 Tony Awards and becoming an unstoppable juggernaut with five productions now running, from Broadway to London.
Where can I see it before August?
The Chicago staging is drawing fans from across the Midwest. There are also two touring productions, currently in Tempe, Ariz., and Seattle.
Is there an age requirement?
Because of strong language and content, the show is recommended for ages 10 and up.
How do I make sure I’m getting legitimate tickets?
Buy from only the three sources above. If you buy from a reseller, “you’re playing with fire,” Sheeley said.
What steps are authorities taking to make sure the ticket-buying process is not abused?
“We look for things like the same name on different credit cards,” said Sheeley. “There’s no fail-safe way to combat scalpers or scammers. They have bots that mimic humans. But we’re doing what we can to ensure that real customers, not machines, are buying tickets.”
612-673-4390 • @rohanpreston