There are musicals. There are hit musicals. And then there is Hamilton.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years. There’s never been a show like Hamilton,” said Judy Lisi, president and CEO of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, which brought Hamilton to Tampa in February. “As an event, it just went ballistic. I’ve never seen a show do that."
She might be about to see it again.
The Straz Center on Wednesday announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historical musical will return to Tampa for the 2020-21 season, setting up another potential rush for tickets down the line.
Performance dates have not yet been set, and tickets won’t go on sale for quite a while — likely sometime next summer, and then almost certainly as part of a Broadway season ticket package.
That won’t stop Tampa Hamilfans, though. The Straz Center usually caps season ticket allotment at around 10,000, Lisi said. Last year, Hamilton mania pushed that up to around 14,000 before the Straz cut it off.
While the Straz Center has scaled back its subscription allotment this year, Lisi said they have seen some season-to-season retention from patrons who signed up just for Hamilton — and ended up checking out other blockbusters like Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away and Anastasia.
“I think that might have been a surprise," she said. "They thought they were buying the subscription to make sure they got to see Hamilton, and they saw these other shows that blew them away.”
On the day single-show Hamilton tickets went on sale last November, more than 125 fans were already in line by 5:30 a.m. But Lisi said the Straz Center had no problems with that or the show’s daily ticket lottery, which offered limited $10 seats for every performance.
“That whole sale went without a glitch, and I cannot tell you how many markets around the country — their phone systems collapsed, their computer systems collapsed. They were just having one issue after another,” Lisi said. “Even in Orlando, their system collapsed. The planning was so meticulous here that it went like the breeze. People were thanking us for selling them a ticket. It was fantastic.”