"Hamilton," the phenomenally successful Tony Award-winning musical that cleverly tells the story of American founding fathers through rap, will be playing in Salt Lake City in the 2017-18 season.
The revolutionary show that's "not a moment, it's the movement" is expected to make its Utah debut about three years after the show's Broadway opening, according to Sunday's announcement from producer Jeffrey Seller and presenters of the Zions Bank Broadway at the Eccles series.
The show will play a sit-down run in Chicago in September (currently without an announced end date) and will launch two North American tours, one beginning in March in San Francisco and another in Seattle in 2018, according to The New York Times.
"We've certainly moved up the ladder," said Steve Boulay, chief operating officer of MagicSpace Entertaiment, which presents the Broadway at the Eccles series. "We were hoping to be in the 2018-2019 season, and expecting to be in the 2020 season."
Boulay credits the larger seating and state-of-the-art technical capacities of downtown's new George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater, slated to open in October, as contributing to the earlier booking.
When national theater people have toured the new facility, "they just rave about it," says Boulay, calling it "an unusually beautiful theater." "I think the building is better than we all think, and we all think it's great."
In addition to the buzz generated by the theater, there's also the lucky coincidence of routing, thanks to "Hamilton" tours launching in West Coast cities.
Utah has earned a reputation with producers as a "great musical theater market," most recently for selling out the Capitol Theatre for shows like "Newsies," which is returning to town Aug. 25-28 after selling out last week's run. "We couldn't have been happier that the conversations were skewing a lot earlier — and I don't think we're going to have any trouble selling tickets," Boulay says.
Boulay also credits an inventory of "broadly accessible" Broadway musicals — many with appeal to younger audiences — that will be touring in the next few seasons. "An incredible outflow of great shows from New York makes the next two or three seasons look fabulous," he says.
Broadway at the Eccles subscribers for the 2016-17 season will be able to buy tickets for "Hamilton" when they renew their subscriptions. Tickets will be available to the general public after season subscriptions close.
"We will go out of the way to make sure there will be single tickets, but we can't guarantee there will be a lot of them," he says.
The 2016-17 season tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 801-355-5502 or in person at the box office at 610 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City. (Box-office hours are extended this week, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Run dates, and info on individual and group ticket sales, will be announced later.
"Hamilton" tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, the revolutionary "10-dollar founding father," an ambitious immigrant who became an aide to George Washington, and the first U.S. Treasury secretary. The musical recounts his careerlong political disputes with Aaron Burr, the country's third vice president.
The music, lyrics and book of "Hamilton" were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the 36-year-old son of Puerto Rican immigrants who also plays the title role on Broadway. Miranda has said he was inspired by reading Ron Chernow's biography.
Accepting his Tony for best score on Sunday night, Miranda's voice broke as he read an emotional sonnet he had written for his wife, Vanessa Nadal, as well as the shooting massacre that left dozens dead in a gay bar early Sunday in Orlando, Fla.
"Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside," Miranda said, continuing: "Now fill the world with music, love and pride."
"Hamilton" won 11 Tonys. Before that, the show's cast recording won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, and Miranda's script won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.