Hamilton made a record-breaking Tony nominations showing on Tuesday morning — but, as the race now enters the homestretch to Broadway’s biggest night on June 12, some are wondering how the groundbreaking musical, one of the Great White Way’s hottest tickets in history, can possibly accommodate the number of Tony voters who wish to see it before filling out their ballots.
Pre-nominations, the only Tony voters who get to weigh in are those on the pre-selected nominating committee, which starts with 50 people, but winds up even smaller — just 39 this year — because only those who catch every eligible show are permitted to cast a ballot. But post-nominations, all Tonys voters — roughly 850 people — get to weigh in, and that’s a much harder number to accommodate for any show, let alone one as in-demand as Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s runaway hit.
Other publications have reported that Hamilton‘s backers considered not inviting Tony voters at all, but that was a misunderstanding — instead, unlike some shows, they simply weren’t going to welcome them prior to voting season (the show opened last August). From the start, the stellar advance box office made it obvious that the show would still be going strong come May and producers chose to set aside blocks of seats for the Tony Awards crunch time.
Last week, the publicist coordinating Hamilton seating of Tony voters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre emailed those voters to offer them a pair of complimentary seats — but specifying that additional seats for purchase would not be made available, “due to the high demand.” Availability is restricted to performances between the dates of May 2 and June 5. Voters were asked to request three possible dates within that range, in case their first choice could not be accommodated.
Where are these seats, to a show that has been sold out for months, coming from? According to people close to the show, company members had to give up their house seats. So now, for a few weeks at least, not even friends and family of Miranda get to be in “the room where it happens.”