You’ve been hearing about the smash hit “Hamilton: An American Musical” since it opened on Broadway almost two years ago, and now it’s coming to a stage near you.
The 22-week San Francisco run of “Hamilton,” which kicks off a national tour, opens Friday, March 10, with a series of public preview performances at the SHN Orpheum Theater.
Maybe you never got around to ordering tickets, and now you’ve heard the show is sold out. Or maybe you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who tried to order tickets the moment they went on sale online, only to discover you were already too late.
There is still hope. On Wednesday, SHN announced a lottery for “Hamilton” tickets, starting with the first show.
SHN will sell 44 tickets for every performance for an amazing $10 each. Seat locations vary per performance, and include some front-row seats. The lottery will open at 11 a.m. two days prior to the performance date, and will close for entry at 9:00 a.m. the day prior to the performance.
And even if you don’t win the lottery, there is still a chance for you to score tickets. At mid-week, the SHN website (shnsf.com) listed preview tickets available most days through the end of the month, with prices ranging from $99 to $800 and more.
The perennial standby, craigslist.com, listed “Hamilton” tickets at $250 and $700. Vivid Seats (vividseats.com/theatre/hamilton-tickets.html) listed tickets at $350 and up. listed tickets at $350 and up.
“Vivid Seats is the official ticket reseller for the SHN Orpheum Theater,” said Julia Litz of Vivid Seats, who offered would-be ticket buyers some tips.
“Timing is important, but if you don’t care about seating, consider waiting until the last minute to purchase tickets. People may lower prices as showtime nears.
That said, this is a major gamble, and prices might not drop,” she explained.
“Consider going alone. People are often trying to sell off single tickets at the last minute.”
The official opening for the San Francisco engagement is March 23, and the production is scheduled to play San Francisco until Aug. 5, when it moves on to Los Angeles.
“Hamilton” is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The acclaimed musical is about the birth of our nation, with a score that blends hip-hop, pop, blues, jazz and Broadway-style music.
The demand for tickets has been predictably frantic for months. In early December, some 90,000 people logged onto the SHN website to take part in an American Express cardholder presale, with most of them finding out the tickets were gone before they could even order.
One of the lucky, and relatively few, buyers to succeed was Padi Selwyn, a Sesbastopol public relations and marketing consultant, who scored tickets for May.
“It took my daughter-in-law and I an hour-and-a-half online, on two computers, the day that tickets became available,” Selwyn said. “I think the only reason we got them is we both have American Express cards. When we signed on, half an hour before the site officially opened up for tickets, there were already 40,000 people in line.”
After several unsuccessful attempts to get tickets for the show, Petaluma teacher Laurie Gibbs found out last week from a friend that SHN had just released some tickets for the “Hamilton” previews.