Hamilton, the biggest musical-theatre sensation of the past decade, is finally having its Canadian premiere at the Ed Mirvish Theatre on Wednesday night, and contrary to popular belief, you can actually still get tickets to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury during its three-month tour stop in Toronto.
I swung by the Mirvish website yesterday and saw pairs on sale as early as next week for $225 each and even some single tickets for $175; that’s certainly not cheap, but back in the day, people were paying that many times over (and in American dollars) to see this show on Broadway.
However, if you are “young, scrappy and hungry” like Hamilton was, according to one of the show’s songs, there’s also a daily digital lottery – 40 tickets will be sold for every performance for $10 each. Here are the details.
Of course, you can always wait for my review to go online Thursday before deciding whether to go. Spoiler alert: I loved Hamilton as much as anyone else when I reviewed it on Broadway five years ago, and I’m hoping this touring production (scheduled to stick around to May 17) lives up to the original one.
The tradition of $10 tickets to Hamilton originates with the fact that Hamilton is on the $10 bill in the United States. The $10 bill in Canada, of course, now features a picture of Viola Desmond – the Canadian civil-rights activist who challenged segregation at a Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946.
Coincidentally or not, a new play about Canada’s $10 heroine is now on in Halifax at Neptune Theatre (in association with B Current Performing Arts), just as the musical about America’s $10 hero has arrived in Toronto.
Controlled Damage by Andrea Scott runs to Feb. 23 – and there’s so much interest in seeing Desmond’s story dramatized that it’s actually a tougher ticket to get than Hamilton. The run is officially sold out, and there’s no plan for an extension at the moment, but you can call the Neptune box office to see if there are any returns.
A couple of Toronto productions recently reviewed in The Globe and Mail have been extended due to demand. So if you were trying to get tickets to Caroline, or Change starring Jully Black (review here) or Marjorie Prime starring Martha Henry (review here), know that there are added performances on Feb. 16 and Feb. 23, respectively.
A couple more shows of note: Out in Vancouver, the PuSh Festival may be over for another year, but the Electric Company Theatre’s new show Anywhere But Here – the “largest Latinx piece to receive its world premiere on a Canadian mainstage” – continues to Feb. 15. The Globe’s Marsha Lederman has reviewed it.
And in Montreal, a new play by Siminovitch Prize-winning playwright Olivier Choinière is on at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier until Feb 29. It’s called Zoé, and it’s a two-hander about a philosophy professor and a student, set during the raucous 2012 Quebec student protests.
Translator Bobby Theodore, who has “trans-adapted” Choiniere’s 2015 play Public Enemy for Canadian Stage’s upcoming season, said on Twitter the other day that Zoé will be coming to Toronto in English translation “soon-ish,” which is great to hear. We don’t get to see nearly enough Quebec plays in English Canada these days.
Stay tuned for a new theatre newsletter launching soon from The Globe and Mail’s critic J. Kelly Nestruck.