A few questions about arranging to see Hamilton on Broadway
March 10, 2016 9:53 PM   Subscribe

We've decided we need to see Hamilton live in the next few months. I have a few questions about buying tickets.

We've decided we need to see Hamilton live in the next few months before the cast starts to rotate. I have a few questions about buying tickets:

1) What do I need to know about the secondary ticket markets? Should I buy from StubHub or the Ticketmaster resale section? Some other source? I'm prepared to pay premium resale prices and want something 100% reliable.

2) Is there information out there about which cast members perform in which shows on which days? We'd love to see LMM, and have other preferences as well that we might schedule our show choice around.

3) Where should we aim to sit? We'll be buying secondary market tickets and are willing to pay more for better seats -- how does the middle of the orchestra compare with front rows of the balcony, and so on?
posted by Perplexity to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
1) I'd suggest you do Ticketmaster resale, as StubHub (if I understand correctly; I may not) can have fraudulent tickets, and Ticketmaster will definitely not. I've see Hamilton twice now and did Ticketmaster resale both times with no problem AT ALL.

2) LMM does not do Sundays. I've seen both him and Javier Munoz. Javier is really, REALLY good, so if Sundays is all you can do, you will be perfectly happy. However, LMM is obviously excellent and one of the reasons I went twice is because I wanted to see him. (Conventional wisdom seems to be that Javier has a technically more melodic singing voice and LMM is better at rapping, and I would agree with that.) I believe it's harder to predict who will not be performing other than that, because I believe everyone else goes on unless they're ill? (Personally, I think that not seeing Leslie Odom Jr would be more of a blow than not seeing LMM, but there's no way to predict that.)

3) I've sat in the front rows of the balcony and it was totally fine and great (look: Hamilton lives up to the hype and you will love it regardless of where you sit, TRULY). However, I've also sat in the middle of the orchestra and, yeah, it was better to be closer. However, too far back in the orchestra, I believe the overhang from the balcony will slightly obstruct your view, so bear that in mind. My advice is, if you are willing to pay more, and you can afford it, in this instance I would recommend that you...pay more. It is worth it. This is honestly a sort of once-in-a-lifetime theatre experience. (My parents saw Evita with the original cast and are still talking about it 30 years later; it's the same thing.) ENJOY! You will love it.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 10:32 PM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

1) Ticketmaster resale.

2) It's Hamilton. Don't worry about the cast. They have a deep bench.

3) We've seen it twice, once from the middle of the orchestra, and once from second row of the orchestra. I, personally, liked sitting way up close better, but if you sit in the mezzanine, that's probably best to see the staging, which is incredible. The theatre has very good raking towards the back of the orchestra, so it's not an issue seeing over people's heads.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:12 AM on March 11, 2016

I just saw this and sat in the very last row of the orchestra. Maybe not ideal but I could see everything, including the stuff they do up on the balcony (though sometimes with a teensy bit of leaning forward). It's a small theatre.
And it really does live up to the hype!
posted by clarinet at 5:12 AM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Note that there's a bustling market in fake tickets via craigslist. Caveat emptor.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:29 AM on March 11, 2016

Just a small note to not be disappointed if you see Ham with a backup cast member! They're all fantastic! I've seen it twice, (and both times with LMM backup Javier Munoz, once at the Public and once on Broadway), I totally was disappointed at first when we saw the cast switch in the program, but now I am SO GLAD. I think that Javier is even better as Hamilton — and I'm glad I saw him in the role, and have heard LMM on the recording. Best of both worlds!

His Hamilton is sexier, more sly, more in control and I think more compelling to watch. The New York Times specifically wrote up his performance here.

The show is so strong it will deliver no matter what. Good luck getting your tickets!
posted by aoleary at 7:30 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

the cast sometimes takes time off. as far as i can find there's no public schedule of that. you can kind of see a couple days before if you follow enough of the cast/crew because you'll see people sending well wishes to the person who is stepping into, say, laurens/phillip's role for the night, but that's little help when buying tickets. it looks like the principle cast is all signed on until at least june, but after that you can expect that some will have moved on, so definitely buy tickets for before then.
posted by nadawi at 7:31 AM on March 11, 2016

If you are looking at ticket prices over the next two weeks, know that demand is has been even higher since they won a Grammy and it's also spring break right now (so a lot of people on break are wanting to see it).

It will only get worse by the summer, especially after schools/colleges get out for summer break, and tourist season starts. A LOT of tourists come to NYC and specifically want to see Hamilton.

I also think prices on the aftermarket will shoot up after they win basically all the Tonys in June (nominations come out April 29, awards are June 6). I would be looking to buy tickets to see the show quickly after Easter. Definitely before Memorial Day and the Tony Awards.

Most frequently, the matinees seem to be the ones where 1-2 people in the cast are off. I saw Javier as Hamilton a few Sundays ago (he was excellent); my brother saw the show two days ago. He saw Chris Jackson's understudy (he was out due to sickness) and Okieriete Onaodowan's understudy on Wednesday for the matinee. But... the entire cast is incredible.

The show is lightning in a bottle. It's amazing, no matter what. However, I would sit as close as possible. It's not a huge theatre and the seating is fairly steep. I first saw the show in previews from the rear mezzanine and while it's easier to see the full set from up there and the rotating part of the stage, if you are too far away you miss a lot of the sight gags, facial expressions, etc. This is important especially for King George. And you might also not notice the cast members who hang out on the catwalk during scenes that are relevant to them but not directly involving them (such as George Washington looking down, watching Hamilton). I saw it for the 2nd time from the orchestra from the 5th row, and a lot of that texture was more evident.
posted by kathryn at 8:18 AM on March 11, 2016

We'd love to see LMM, and have other preferences as well that we might schedule our show choice around

I have heard from seasoned Broadway fanatics that the ideal time to see as much of the main cast of a hit show as possible is to go during Tony voting. The list of nominees comes out May 3rd.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:18 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

1) I agree with everyone telling you to buy from Ticketmaster. When I bought tickets I noticed that a lot of the same tickets will be listed on both Ticketmaster and StubHub, but you will pay more for them on StubHub. Plus, with Ticketmaster you don't have to worry about the counterfeit issue, you know for sure you are getting real tickets.

2) As mentioned above, there is no way to know who will be performing far in advance. Sometimes if you are obsessively following the show and the cast on twitter, you will be able to know on the exact day of the show which cast members will be out, but there is no way to know in advance. When we went, LMM was sick and Jon Rua performed Hamilton and Eliza's understudy was also performing. I was disappointed for a moment, but as soon as the show started that went away. It was still amazing.

3) The theater is not very big. I think you will be fine wherever you sit. We sat in row S on the floor, which is near the back and is more steeply angled up (starting with Row L the orchestra seating angles more like in a movie theater). The mezzanine overhang did not block our view and I could still see all of King George's facial expressions. We are going back in a couple of weeks and this time we will be in the first mezzanine, because I think the first mezzanine and the angled seats on the floor are equivalent and they were significantly cheaper.
posted by bove at 10:29 AM on March 11, 2016

As the date of your show approaches, you can check with @understudies as they are pretty good about shouting out who will be stepping up for particular shows. I saw it with Sydney James Harcourt as George Washington and he was fantastic. Echoing everyone above who says that no matter who you see in each role, they're all so great it really, truly doesn't matter.
posted by komlord at 12:02 PM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

N-thing not to worry about the cast. I saw the Angelica understudy, and she was spectacular. I would remove that from your list of parameters, because you've got enough difficult parameters already just in wanting to go.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 12:54 PM on March 11, 2016

Javier Muñoz is playing Hamilton on SATURDAY matinees for April and half of May. Check the website for a list.
posted by purpleclover at 4:30 PM on March 11, 2016

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