Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hamilton the Exhibition To Close Up Shop Earlier than Expected on Northerly Island

We were always skeptical about the concept and location of the temporary "Hamilton: The Exhibition" on Northerly Island.  Not surprisingly, sounds like it didn't go so well (via Tribune):
In the first significant disappointment for the hugely successful team behind “Hamilton,” one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time, the spinoff known as “Hamilton the Exhibition” is to close down in Chicago on Aug. 25. And the original plan to move the exhibition around the country following the end of the Chicago stand has now been abandoned.
Aug. 25 is two weeks before the end of the current block of tickets being booked for the walk-through attraction exploring the life and times of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The early exit will necessitate refunds for patrons with tickets purchased for Aug. 26 to Sept. 8, and it occurs well before the producers’ more optimistic projections for a privately financed project that cost in excess of $13 million to create and erect inside a giant temporary structure on Northerly Island in Chicago, following revenue-sharing negotiations with the Chicago Park District. In earlier interviews with the Tribune, those involved with the exhibit had said they expected it to play here for at least six to twelve months, followed by similar runs in other cities that have been hospitable to the show.
Maybe if it was at an easier to access location for the general public - maybe (and that's a big maybe) would it have done better.

Don't cry for the Hamilton team though, the Tribune makes sure to put into perspective how much of a juggernaut it still is:
Although he declined to offer precise attendance figures, Seller said the exhibition had been popular, especially now that Chicago’s peak tourist season is underway. In general, he put the best face on the situation, saying that the publicity and interest generated by an exhibition that charted new territory for a Broadway show also helped buoy interest in the musical itself, which likely will have generated a staggering $400 million in Chicago ticket sales by the time it leaves the city on Jan. 5, having sold virtually every available ticket.
That $400 million places the $13 million in a useful context.

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