CMU School of Drama

Thursday, April 20, 2017

‘Hamilton’: Hype or $100,000 value?

Storia.me: It’s no secret that “Hamilton: The Musical” has taken the country by storm. With its catchy, upbeat anthems and vivid scenes portraying the struggles of one of our founding fathers, the play resembles a history book that comes to life and takes a contemporary, urban approaches to Alexander Hamilton’s character.

10 comments:

Galen shila said...

I always love when people ask if something is worth it or not. The fact of the matter is that something is worth what ever you are willing to pay for it. Its a personal thing. I have somethings that others wouldn't pay more than 20 dollars for but are worth hundreds to me. When it comes to Broadway tickets if that show is worth 100,000 dollars to you, then great! While i do not by any means believe that everyone should be required to pay that, i do believe that you can value things at whatever you please. The article dose bring up the fact that with technology people have lots of opportunities to experience the show. I know that some movie theaters stream the show and i think that it is a wonderful way to not only knock down prices but deal with people who cannot travel to see a show.

Julian Goldman said...

I think it is near impossible to asses if anything is “worth the hype”. Personally, I really want to see Hamilton, but given how much it costs, I can’t afford to, or rather if I did decide to spend the amount of money I’d have to spend to see Hamilton, I’d rather see a couple shows for cheaper rather than just see Hamilton. That being said, I think there is a reason why Hamilton got as big as it did. It is different than most musicals musically, and it also has a much more diverse cast, along with being a really compelling story. I think people were excited for something new, different and well executed. That being said, there are plenty of other good musicals and plays with unique qualities, so it is hard to say why Hamilton took off in the way it did and those productions didn’t. Maybe I’d understand why if I’d seen Hamilton.

Side note: I’m a bit frustrated that this article uses ADD as an adjective. I realize that the article isn’t about this particular phrase, but I think using diagnosed conditions as adjectives is problematic since it minimizes the validity of those conditions.

Marisa Rinchiuso said...

So much truth spoken in this article. I thought the writer was valid and fairly unbiased. There is definitely some hypocrisy in the fact that the show was made to appeal to people from all walks of life and yet no one can afford to see it but superstars and the president. To a certain degree, I feel like this perspective is a bit over-glorified. This process of show opens: reasonable tickets, show wins tony's: prices skyrocket, is not new. The skyrocket prices of a successful show has been happening for ages, just 4 years ago Book of Mormon went through a similar surge. I think what makes Hamilton's particularly bad is how amplified the show, and its prices are. The show has touched so many people. However, most people will just have to wait it out. Another tactic that is action for fighting these prices is the new Hamilton tour, which is now able to reach people from all over the country for discounted prices and without the travel.

David Kelley said...

This article brings to light a fact of our industry that I have struggled with for a bit, that fact is once a show is a great success the price of tickets sky rocket. This being a by product to limit product (seats) and the high rate of inelastic demand for the show. This shows a discrepancy in what I believe many in the theater industry believe is the goal of the theater industry which many believe is to bring the arts and the message of their preformance story as many as possible. The disparagy of trying to complete this goal is seen when shows that are meant to share messages of openness become Broadway hits and the prices rise. This can be seen as a good thing because people are hopefully being paid more but when you make a ticket to a show a high luxury good less people can afford to see and will view it as not worth their time. This is problem that I don't have answer to but hope we as a community will discuss.

Alex Talbot said...

To be completely honest, I'm somewhat confused as to what this article is trying to say. Hamilton came out about a year and a half ago, and since then there have been countless articles discussing the hype, etc. To be honest, while this article is pretty well written, it as a piece doesn't add much to journalism as a whole. To me, this article comes at a bit of an odd time, and overall doesn't say much more about the show than I already knew. It's been a huge hit, tickets are very expensive, and it's captivated audiences around the country. While it's started touring and moving to different cities, it is still the same show that's been running for almost 2 years, just with a different cast. I like reading about theatre, but this article seems very fluffy and uninformative. I get the idea, but I don't think it adds anything to journalism as a whole.

Emily Lawrence said...

I find it very interesting that people are now asking whether or not it is worth it to see this show. The amount of hype that it has gotten can be repelling for some people, but I think that the hype is the cause of so many people going to see it. It would have been very difficult to sell tickets to a musical about a founding father had people not known how amazing it was. I was very opposed to listening to the music at first because I was not able to understand how something like this could be so beautiful, and now I tell whoever gets the chance to see a show on Broadway that it should be Hamilton. I think, if anything, it is important to see because of the questions and points it has raised about society. On the other hand, I do understand that the question of whether or not it's worth it is based around the fact that tickets are insanely expensive. Price is the only reason I have not gone to see this show yet though, and I think it is worth it in every other aspect.

Evan Schild said...

I agree with Galen in the fact that everything is worth different amounts to different people. Some people would pay $100,000 to watch the world series some people would pay that price to see Hamilton. It’s based on the individual person. One thing I did not like about the article was how misleading it was. People who spent $100,000 on a ticket was doing it for a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. The average person who sees the show spends maybe $200-$300 on a ticket. To me that is still very expensive and not worth it. If people are willing to wait and they do sell cheaper tickets. While they do usually sell out quicker if you are willing to wait maybe a year to see the show than it will be cheaper. It is crazy how Hamilton is changing the theater scene. So many celebrities are coming to see the show. On the down side of this, this will cause ticket prices to increase. Hopefully we will all be able to see Hamilton one day for a cheap price.

Chris Calder said...

If Hamilton has done one thing it is catching the eye of several people across the country. Whether or not you can call it hype really depends on what you define it as. Personally, I love the show and I really found it to be inspirational and spine chilling. If we are going to base this argument on numbers I think your answer should be pretty obvious. Any show that can sell tickets for 5 figures has done something right in catching the attention of its audience. My mom, who is an avid Hamilton fan, was never a devoted theatergoer who has already seen the show twice and if she got the opportunity to see it again I have no doubt she would. I would like to point out that it is really difficult to know why Hamilton caught the attention of so many, especially when there are plenty of other show out there that could have had the same result.

Zak Biggins said...

There is no doubt there is hype for Hamilton in my opinion. In two years, the show has 5 different productions happening across the country and across the pond. There is literally a Hamilton merchandise store right outside of the Richard Rodgers theatre. Ham4Ham was an amazing way to keep up the show's momentum. When Renee Elise Goldsberry had her last performance hundreds of people flooded the streets just to hear her sing "Congratulations" the cut song from the musical. This musical has changed the perspective of what theatre is for many people. In Fact, I was walking down the street and I hear a bar playing Guns and Ships. A BAR WAS PLAYING A MUSICAL. This show, wether you say its overhyped or not, has created a precedent of how theatre can impact the masses and how it is our responsibility as artists to try to expose as many people as possible. Seeing the show reiterated my love fort his art form but also schooled me with some very important history lessons. If you had asked me a couple years ago who the first Treasurery Sec was I would responded with 'NO CLUE' now I know I can confidently say... Alexander Hamilton.

Julien Sat-Vollhardt said...

Hamilton is a very strange and great phenomenon in today's pop culture in that it has become an musical that is still vey interesting to non Broadway nerds. This is hard to achieve because often Broadway nerds are the glee club, the theatre kids, the uncool ones. And now that Hamilton is undoubtedly very cool, even the cool kids are fawning over it. I'm sincerely not bitter at all, I was never one of the Broadway nerds. It is also interesting that so many people call it a historical musical when in fact it makes numerous embellishments, and Lin Manuel Miranda while being a lyrical and writing master, took many liberties with Mr. hamiltons life that left Hamilton looking a lot prettier than he really was. Undoubtedly, Hamilton has inspired a lot more interest in the field of American history than ever before, but a documentary on Hamiltons life it is not.