As one journalist aptly noted, it’ll take dozens of Alexander Hamiltons — $10 bills — to buy a ticket to the hip-hop Broadway musical bearing his name.
And for those who’ve finally witnessed history on the Great White Way, money wasn’t the only thing needed to secure a seat at the Richard Rogers Theater.
“I opened an Instagram account right at the time that the Hamilton account posted a new block of tickets,” said Kirsten Hurley, a public relations expert. “They ended up posting that a few minutes before the official email went out, when I assumed all hell usually breaks loose and everyone tries to buy them.
“I hopped right on Ticketmaster, picked a random date and was able to get two tickets. No problem,” said Hurley, noting that she just couldn’t justify the asking prices on sites like StubHub.
And that’s just one dilemma in securing tickets to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ultra-popular and multiple Tony-Award winning extravaganza. Ticket prices are budget-shattering, to be sure.
“I probably started checking in the spring of last year and everything was literally $800 and better per ticket,” Hurley said. “I couldn’t even consider paying that, so I just figured I would have to get lucky enough by entering the ticket lottery. Still no luck and I thought I was going to have to wait until the buzz died down and the tickets would be a little more reasonably priced.”
But Hurley did manage to secure tickets for her and her fiancée for a Nov. 15 date.
Although his quest began nearly a year earlier, T.J. Peterson, a Manhattan-based digital media coordinator, finally purchased tickets for the show in November 2016.
“No one likes to miss out and I am a hip-hop fan,” Peterson said. “Honestly, I wanted the experience the play as a novel experience, so I was not one of the people who filed into the theater already knowing every part of the songs that would be performed.”
Given the high prices, Peterson considered waiting until the show hit the road, but he also thought about the novelty of seeing it in New York.
“I was able to provide my family a once-in-a-lifetime experience they could all brag about to their friends,” Peterson said. “Once I acquired the tickets, the long wait did hamper my excitement to be honest, but I was able to procure tickets to the show two days after my mother’s birthday, so I knew I would have a very good birthday present.”
Securing tickets also proved a race against a biological clock for one fan.
“When I first got interested in 2016, I didn’t even try to get tickets because I heard it was so difficult, so expensive,” said JanNicee McMillan.
But McMillan trolled social media, followed Ticketmaster, Broadway.com and even kept an eye on sites ran by the stars of “Hamilton” so as not to miss a release time for tickets that start at about $199 face value.
“My problem was that my husband, Matt, and I were trying to get pregnant and we wanted to make sure that we saw the show before I got pregnant,” she said. “We were seeing prices for $700 and we couldn’t justify spending that amount of money.”
However, the McMillans finally hit pay dirt — twice.
“When they released a block of tickets for shows scheduled for May, June and July, we were able to get them for $199,” she said. “I found out that I was pregnant in February and realized that it was still early enough that we could go and enjoy the show.”
Ticketmaster later released another block and the McMillans now have a date for April 13 in the orchestra, Row V, seats 10 and 12.
Their baby will be five months old by then — babysitter-ready, McMillan said.
“I don’t think I would have gotten tickets if I didn’t use social media as much as I do,” she said. “Yes, the tickets are expensive, but everything is expensive. It’s like the iPhone when it first comes out, no one is going to offer you a credit at least for the first six months. You have to have a little patience and be willing to explore different avenues.
“I was determined that, because of the baby, we were going to see it and I don’t think we paid an inappropriate amount because it’s still cheaper than one big price hopper at a Disney California adventure,” McMillan said. “Hey, you have to participate in the Hunger Games, but it’s the capitalism of our society, so what are you gonna do?”