White-Hot 'Hamilton' Is Bound for Chicago

Joan Marcus
Daveed Diggs and cast in 'Hamilton'

In the first production outside New York for the instant Broadway phenomenon, Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster will open in the Windy City in September 2016.

In what will likely be the first of several offshoot productions, Hamilton is spreading its reach beyond Broadway. 

Lead producer Jeffrey Seller announced Tuesday that the musical phenomenon, in which a cast of Hispanic, black and Asian-American actors retell the story of America's founding fathers using hip-hop, will begin performances in Chicago on Sept. 27, 2016, for an open-ended run. Appropriately, for a show about the country's first Treasury Secretary, it will play the PrivateBank Theatre, the newly renamed 1,930-seat house currently called the Bank of America Theatre,

Chicago is one of the major theater hubs in the country, often serving as a pre-Broadway tryout stop for large-scale productions, and has been home to similar sit-down runs of other hit shows, including Wicked, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys.

Hamilton became an instant success when it premiered earlier this year off-Broadway at the Public Theater, selling out its extended run and drawing boldface names from across music, film and television, media, publishing and politics. The show moved to Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre over the summer and has become the toughest ticket in town, generating head-spinning box office of $32 million in just 21 weeks.

Seller has indicated that he expects to announce plans next year for further productions in other American cities, as well as London. His fellow producers are Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and the Public Theater.

Inspired by the biography Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, Hamilton features book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also stars in the title role on Broadway. The show reunites the creative team from Miranda's 2008 Tony-winning musical In the Heights, which includes director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire, who provided the orchestrations.

The same team, together with the designers, will mount the Chicago staging, tickets for which will go on sale early next year. Casting for the production will follow the same multiracial lines as the New York mothership.

The show's Top 20-charting cast recording yesterday received a Grammy nomination for best musical theater album.

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