By Sabina Benson
Eighth-grader at Roosevelt International Baccalaureate Middle School in San Diego
I am obsessed with Hamilton. And this Christmas, my parents surprised me with tickets. (Yes, I cried!) We boarded a plane from San Diego to Chicago on Christmas Day and saw the show December 30. For those of you also lucky enough to score next-to-impossible-to-get tickets to Hamilton, here are a few tips.
Hamilton is held at the PrivateBank Theater, in the heart of Chicago’s Theatre District.
Doors open 45 minutes before the show starts. However, I recommend arriving at least an hour or more in advance. After the doors open, the lines to get into the theater go down the street, making it unlikely you’ll be able to buy souvenirs or use the restroom before the show begins. (Plus there is a lobby outside the main doors that is warm. Much better than waiting outside in the cold!)
If you are planning on buying souvenirs, I recommend looking at the online shop the night before. This way you’ll have a good idea of what items you ACTUALLY want and not feel rushed.
If you want to buy a souvenir, but don’t want to spend $30 (or more), I recommend buying a soda or coffee from the bar in a Hamilton souvenir cup. Each reusable cup is $6 and super cute, so you get to take home a souvenir and have something to drink during the show.
For Hamilton superfans (like me) who want to get a lot of playbills to bring home to their friends, you need a plan. 1.Individually walk to your seats so that every member of your party is handed a playbill. 2. After your group is seated, go to an usher and ask for another playbill. Say thank you! 3. Repeat step two as many times as you want, but send a different member of your group each time. I used this method and ended up with seven playbills to share with my Hamilton-loving friends!
Look up your seats in advance. I didn’t care where we sat. I just wanted to see the show! But it was good to know in advance what to expect. (Luckily our seats were great.) This is the view from the Mezzanine, Row H, seat 318.
Meet the Cast Members!
The stage door is to the left when you are facing the theater. It’s in the alley and there is a looonnnggg line every night. I recommend hightailing it out of the theater as soon as the final bows end to secure your place in line. Not every cast member comes out every night, but those that do will take pictures with you and sign your playbills.
If you live in Chicago or are visiting the area, and don’t have Hamilton tickets, don’t give up. The Hamilton lottery releases 44 tickets for $10 each every day.
Wondering where to stay and where to eat when you are in Chicago to see Hamilton? Stay tuned for next week’s blog.
About the Author
Sabina Benson is thirteen years old and lives in San Diego. She has two younger siblings and has a great love for her two cats, Emily and Elliot-Charles. She loves to watch and perform musical theater, and is currently into “Heathers,” “Hamilton,” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” Sabina also enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, and fictional narrative writing.