The Beacon Today
Hamilton: America’s ‘nonstop’ man has made his way to West Palm Beach
After the war, he came back to New York. After New York, he hit center-stage. Now one of America’s most beloved Founding Fathers is braving his newest expedition: stealing the hearts of South Floridians.
Lin Manuel Miranda’s beloved hit musical, “Hamilton,” is featured at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for Performing Arts for three consecutive weeks.
Premiering at the local theater on Tuesday, Jan. 28, the rendition of the original 2016 Broadway production will be presented until Feb. 16, with showtimes varying from matinees to evening performances.
Linda Birdsey, the Marketing Manager for the Kravis Center, has since revealed that her department has been attentively preparing for the renowned production tour for over a year.
“We announced ‘Hamilton’ last season,” Birdsey said. “It’s been a good two-plus years in the making and getting [it] to this point.”
According to Birdsey, the national production has been organized into three separate tours: the “Phillip Tour,” the “Peggy Tour” and the “Angelica Tour,” the last of which is currently being presented by the Kravis Center.
Already transforming local residents from laidback listeners to die-hard fans, the hit Broadway show has since been initiating zealous excitement and enthusiasm among the locals of West Palm Beach and its surrounding areas.
Since the cinema’s public announcement of the national tour last year, the popularity of the Kravis Center has done nothing but “rise to the top.”
In addition to an increase in ticket sales, the anticipation of “Hamilton” has raised the Kravis Center’s online activity, promoted social awareness and boosted its annual subscription total from approximately 10,000 to 11,000 subscribers.
“We call it ‘the Hamilton effect,’” Birdsey said. “Everyone wants to be in the [room] where it happens.”
With a vast majority of the Kravis’ upcoming shows completely sold out, West Palm Beach locals still have a chance to secure themselves a seat.
By downloading and registering themselves on the “Hamilton” app, participating individuals have the opportunity to place their names in a daily ticket lottery for their given area.
The winner of each lottery is granted a chance to purchase up to two seats for a show the same day their name is drawn, with each ticket being sold at the discounted rate of $20.
With 20 people being randomly selected for each performance, the lottery provides an additional incentive for locals to see the show while it’s here.
With the award-winning production stealing the spotlight from South Florida’s stereotypical vacation destinations, the Kravis Center is not the only local business benefiting from the show’s widespread fame.
In contrast to the musical ambitions of the performing arts center, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County looks at the factual side of Miranda’s esteemed production.
Currently featured on the third floor of the Historic Courtroom, the Society’s newest attraction draws onlookers in with its eye-catching title, “Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America.”
Granted to the local museum by a national traveling exhibit, the striking display solely focuses on the documented history and personal background of Alexander Hamilton.
Rhonda Gordon, the outreach and volunteer coordinator for the Historical Society, voiced her hope that the exhibit would serve as an additional platform for individuals to educate themselves about the history behind the admired show.
“We wanted to build another layer for the community,” Gordon said.
Promoting their newest display in the Rosemary Square Plaza on Sunday, Jan. 26, Gordon knew the time and place of their advertisement was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Hamilton fever.
Rosemary Square welcomed the national production by promoting a sing-along event of its very own, nicknamed the “Hamiltunes.”
Comprised of raffles, a costume contest and a public karaoke competition, the Hamiltunes event showcased the spirit of many local “Hamilton” fanatics.
Emma Fitzgerald, 14, displayed her passionate love of the production the night the Hamiltunes event took place.
Accompanied by her twin brother, Jack, she was ready to take the stage that evening by singing the show’s finale, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.”
When asked about her favorite song of the show, Fitzgerald found herself struggling with which ballad should receive her initial vote.
“It’s so difficult,” Fitzgerald said. “There are so many good ones, I could hardly ever decide.”
In contrast to his conflicted sister, Jack immediately advocated in favor of his favorite song: “You’ll Be Back,” a tirade sung by a comical version of King George.
Having only heard about the event a week in advance, she and her brother made last-minute plans with their parents to make the commute from their Tampa home to West Palm Beach in order to participate in the competition.
While they did not secure “Hamilton” tickets for the Kravis Center show, the twins do plan to see the show when it leaves West Palm to travel to Miami.
With their tickets unable to be used until the show’s next debut in March, the twins are truly being challenged by the meaning behind the famous lyrics: “Wait For It.”
By Brenna Brown