'Hamilton: An American Musical' debuts in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Hamilton: An American Musical" previews began Tuesday night in Chicago. The official opening night is October 19.

"My job was to bring it here. My job was to make the good decision that the place to start this tour-forget tour, that the place to do Hamilton after Broadway was in Chicago at the PrivateBank Theatre," said producer Jeffrey Seller.

At the act break, fans gave the first reviews of the show.

"I think it's amazing. I'm just in love with the whole thing. Sets, costumes, the dancing - the dancers are brilliant. How do they keep moving so much? It's blowing my mind," said Caroline Hackett.

"Love the cast, it's a diverse cast. I'm excited. Glad to get a ticket on opening night," said Michael Smith. But does it rival New York?

"Yes. I think cuz Chicago has the best theater anyway. They come here first before they go there, so I think it's even better," he said.

Tickets for 26 more weeks of the show went on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, for performances that start March 21 and run through September 17 of 2017.

People began lining up outside the PrivateBank Theatre at 18 W. Madison St. in Chicago's Loop as early as Monday afternoon.

Guests can buy tickets in person at the PrivateBank Theatre Box Office (open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.), over the phone through Broadway in Chicago's Ticket Line (800-775-2000) or online through Ticketmaster.

A maximum of six tickets may be purchased per household. Prices range from $65-$180 for regular performances. Premium seats are also available.

"Hamilton" fans can also take advantage of a day-of-show online lottery. Broadway in Chicago said 44 tickets priced at $10 each will be available for each performance. CLICK HERE to find out how the digital ticket lottery works.

Make sure to only buy them through authorized Broadway in Chicago sellers. Be wary of fake tickets, as one suburban family already found out. They purchased tickets for hundreds in cash on Craigslist, only to arrive Tuesday night and learn they were counterfeit.

"I'm really obsessed with it, so when she said, 'Yeah, these are fake,' I was just heartbroken," said 14-year-odl Grace Gagliano-Campbell.

Gagliano-Campbell said she and her mother came all the way from far northwest suburban Huntley to see the show.

The musical is already a mega-hit at the box office.

"We know for sure it will be here a year. This six months takes us to one week short of a year. I'm sure it's going to be here a year and hopefully more to come," said Eileen LeCario, vice president of Broadway in Chicago.

It's anybody's guess how long the musical will stay in Chicago but the record holders are "Jersey Boys," which was in town for two and a half years and "Wicked," which was in town for three and a half years.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in the original Broadway production of the show, has been all over Chicago while working with the cast of the Chicago production.

"I want to do the Ferris wheel, I want to have the Ferris Bueller experience, right, that's what everyone wants to do. I want to single in the middle of a parade and have everyone join in and have my principal be none the wiser. It's so funny how those John Hughes movies of the 80's shaped how I see Chicago. They all take place here. It's been a joy to walk around the Loop and really walk around the theater. There are so many amazing theaters, I'm taking it all in while I'm here," Miranda told ABC7 Eyewitness News.

Miranda also said he hasn't ruled out popping in to a Chicago matinee performance in the future.
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Hamilton opens Tuesday night in Chicago. Tickets for a new block of the Broadway smash hit went on sale at 10 a.m.

"Hamilton" is the story of one of America's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. The musical is about America then, told by Americans now, and mixes R&B, hip-hop, jazz and more.
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