Overture Center officials were surprised that tickets to the highly-acclaimed Broadway musical “Hamilton” didn’t sell out before it opened in Madison, but the touring production wound up with full houses for each of the 24 shows during its run and generated just over $7.5 million in gross ticket sales.
Gary Kohn, Overture’s director of public relations, said 53,023 tickets, which cost $99 to $351, were sold for “Hamilton,” which ran from Nov. 19 to Dec. 8. He said it was the biggest money-maker in Overture’s 15-year history.
Chris Vogel, Overture’s chief operating officer, provided the sales figure, and said the previous high was for the 2016 run of “The Lion King,” which had gross ticket sales of $5.1 million.
Vogel said Overture won’t accurately know the profit for “Hamilton” until it’s calculated at the end of the Broadway season.
Kohn said late Overture CEO Sandra Gajic, who died from cancer Dec. 6 at 66, told Betty Harris Custer, chairwoman of the Overture Board, that she was proud of Overture’s staff for how well it handled the “Hamilton” single-ticket sale in September. Kohn said she told Custer it was one of the highlights of her professional career.
In late November, Kohn said Gajic thanked the staff for an outstanding start to the run.
“I’m hearing excellent feedback about the efficiency of security and ticketing, the beautiful new bar and concession lighting and the wonderful experience all our staff is providing to our guests,” she wrote in an email.
Before the musical opened, Gajic said it probably wasn’t selling out in advance because many theatergoers had seen it elsewhere.
“It played for quite a while in Chicago and New York,” she said. “So I think some people have already had that experience, that quintessential experience.”
Gajic said “Hamilton” fans who’d already seen it could decide at the last minute to go again.
“We’re seeing now the last tickets are going to those people that were kind of waiting and wondering whether to go,” she said.
Even though “Hamilton” didn’t sell out as quickly as expected, Gajic said, Overture sold more tickets in a shorter time than any other market in the Midwest.
Kohn said that during the second Saturday performance, Overture offered sign language interpreters. It was “a major challenge considering how fast the dialogue moves,” he said.
He said the interpreters, Erin Reed and Kristine Orkin, began preparing for the show nearly a year in advance.
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