[…] Every performance, the show makes tickets available to lottery winners for ten bucks. The lottery FAQ states that the number and location of tickets is at the discretion of the production and subject to change, but every time I have looked the goods are 21 front row seats. There is a 2-4 hour window the day of the show for entering online, a preset notification time, and if you get lucky, you have exactly 60 minutes to claim your prize and make the miniscule monetary purchase. You can enter to win one or two tickets only, and only you can use them, in person, driver license required. You also have to be flexible and prepared to cancel your carefully chosen dinner reservation if you win.
Once you try it, the process is fast and easy and you don’t get a bunch of junk emails trying to sell you stuff like you do most times you are required to use your email address for something, nor do you have to create an account, the bane of the online world. There’s no cost if you lose. It really is easy to do. The lottery says that on average they receive around 10,000 entries a day, but I’m assuming that most couples enter individually as my wife and I did, doubling your odds. So assuming a mix of single and double ticket requests, there should be roughly 14 winners per show, giving a couple around a one in 350 shot. Compared to almost any other contest that’s not bad at all, and if you visit the Big Apple for a week and enter for matinees and evening shows, you could have a better than one in 50 shot. Without hard data I’m making some educated guesses, but clearly your odds should improve during slow tourism periods and I’d assume for weekday matinees and non-weekend nights. If you live in New York and just keep entering, these guestimated odds suggest that sometime in 2017 you will see Hamilton for a ten spot. The lottery is also offered for the same low price for Hamilton in Chicago. […]
Yet the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” which tells the real-life story of Alexander Hamilton and his fellow revolutionaries through a shockingly diverse cast, is a critical and commercial smash hit. Tickets are sold out until December 2016. When a lottery opened online for fans to win $10 reserved seats, the website crashed under the load of 50,000 people trying to enter. (The online lottery still hasn’t reopened.)
“Hamilton” is among the five top-grossing Broadway shows this season.
Hollywood studio executives – the people who decide which films are made and which are not – are said to shy away from diverse casting in the name of telling more “universal” stories that appeal to the broadest audience. Too many, for example, black actors, and you have “a black film” that won’t appeal to anyone but black people.
Yes, moviemaking is a risky business. Studios have bills to pay and stakeholders to please – they need to crank out films that appeal to a lot of people just to make ends meet. Executives’ presumption, though obviously flawed, is that whiteness is some kind of human default setting, and despite being a large part of the world off-screen, actors of color impede a film’s attempt to speak to large numbers of ticket-buyers. For some reason, studios consider white actors not limiting whatsoever.
“Hamilton,” though, spits in the face of that logic. The show’s only white lead is England’s King George III. Its titular character is played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Latino who wrote the script, flavoring the historical tale with hip-hop musical numbers. Other lead actors – Leslie Odom Jr. plays Aaron Burr, Christopher Jackson plays Washington, Daveed Diggs plays Jefferson and Phillipa Soo plays Schuyler – are all black or biracial.
At its heart, “Hamilton” is a white story told effectively and entertainingly by people of color. It’s hugely appealing to Broadway audiences – a group that, according to the Broadway League, is 80 percent white. It seems there’s a lesson there for the entertainment industry at large: Actors of color aren’t a liability.