CLEVELAND — “Hamilton” opens Tuesday for a six-week run at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre.
If you want to see it and don’t already have tickets, you’ll need to be either lucky or loaded.
The Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, which uses a hip hop score and a largely minority cast to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, has won just about every honor a stage work can receive. It won 11 2016 Tony Awards (including best musical, best book and best score), the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Grammy Award for best musical theater album.
Friday will be the third anniversary of its first preview performance on Broadway. More than 1,200 performances later, it remains a hard-to-get ticket in New York, and sell outs have greeted productions in Chicago and London as well as the national tour coming to Cleveland.
Tickets still can be had without turning to ticket brokers. According to Playhouse Square’s website (www.playhousesquare.org), there are at least some tickets available for every performance until the tour moves on to Minneapolis at the end of August. However, those rear orchestra and balcony seats priced from $60 to $155 when tickets went on sale in April now are priced from $160 to $275. Prime orchestra seats, originally priced at $435, now sell for $475.
Just as the prices went up, they could come down if they still aren’t sold as the performance dates approach. But don’t expect that happening.
As for the secondary market, there are some tickets being offered for less than $100 available on sites like Stub Hub, primarily for the final two weeks of the run. There also are tickets up front for more than $2,000 each. And there always are some additional risks that come with purchasing on the secondary market.
The best bargain out there is the Hamilton digital lottery, which makes 37 tickets available for each performance for $10. The lottery, which is free to enter, opens at 11 a.m. two days prior to each performance and is open until 9 a.m. the following day (for example, the lottery for the opening night performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday starts at 11 a.m. Sunday and runs until 9 a.m. Monday).
Winners are notified around 11 a.m., either by email or text, and they have until 4 p.m. to purchase a maximum of two tickets for a performance the following day. Tickets not claimed by 4 p.m. are forfeited.
Lottery participants must be age 18 or older and have a valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the name used to enter the contest. Tickets are non-transferable and will be voided if resold.
The lottery can be entered online at hamiltonmusical.com/lottery. An app for iOS and Android devices can be downloaded at the Apple App and Google Play stores and at hamiltonmusical.com/app.