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After conquering Broadway, Hamilton eyes global tour
AFTER triumphing on Broadway, the lower 48 states and London's West End, Hamilton is eyeing its first non-English production as well as tours throughout Europe and Asia.
The much-decorated musical, currently being staged nightly in London and New York as well as four other US cities, last month announced plans to launch in Sydney in early 2021 in a production expected to tour Australia before going to Asia, its producer said in an interview.
The Hamilton team is also working with a German hip-hop artist and playwright to develop a German-language version of the work. The show, which is performed by a mostly non-white cast and mixes pulsating rap numbers with ballads and traditional musical numbers, has been credited with invigorating Broadway, thrilling audiences of all ages and across the political spectrum.
Producer Jeffrey Seller told AFP he sees a lot of international interest in the show. Australians frequently stream its soundtrack, Germany has long been receptive to American musicals and a Mexico City show, perhaps in Spanish, is also a possibility.
"My hope is that our story is resonant to people all over the world as a story of revolution, as a story of ambition, as a story of self-realisation," said Mr Seller, called the "CEO of Hamilton Inc". "I think Alexander Hamilton's journey is universal."
The push for more overseas performances comes as Hamilton mania remains as strong as ever in its home market. Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show charts Caribbean-born Hamilton who rises through his smarts and determination to become a key military aide to George Washington during the American Revolution and later the architect of the US financial system in the republic's early days. Hamilton was killed in a duel in 1804 by Aaron Burr, a foil throughout the show and the character who sings The Room Where It Happens, a jazzy show-stopper about political horse-trading.
Nearly four years after its Broadway debut, the show completely sold out during the just-ended 2018-9 season, garnering almost US$165 million, or 9 per cent of Broadway's total in a record-setting season. Business is also brisk for three national touring companies, which typically perform three- and four-week stints in American cities of varying size.
The "Angelica" touring company made its Louisville premiere earlier this month at the Kentucky Center. The venue seats 2,400, about 1,100 more seats than the musical's Broadway home at the Richard Rodgers Theater.
International investments will be tailored by market. Mr Seller expects an English-language version of Hamilton to play in Paris perhaps for an eight- or 10-week run as part of a European tour around 2022-23.
He said the French have not shown much hunger for past American musicals, but that this show could spawn a French-language version if it sells well.
But Germany has for years been a robust market for US musicals and "they have the population to support it for a long run", Mr Seller added.
Stephan Jaekel, a spokesman for Stage Entertainment in Germany, which has been overseeing auditions for Hamilton, said the aim is to open in the fall of 2020 in Hamburg, but that a final deal has yet to be signed. AFP