Start of Broadway season in Philly sings a more meaningful tune in 2021

Joan Marcus

The wait is finally over.

The Kimmel Cultural Campus is once again planning for the future, and tickets for their first production go on sale this week.

After the pandemic forced the hand of the notable and local cultural institution, planning for a future was hard to do. With no guidebook on how to survive the almost-unbelievable, artists had to do what they did best to forge through—create. But with restrictions lifting and shows going back on tour, the Avenue of the Arts’ institution is now going full force into what they do best: Bringing back Broadway to the City of Brotherly Love.

Tickets to the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ first show, ‘Hamilton’ officially go on sale this Thursday, July 8. Over the course of its six-week run (something that typically does not happen with Broadway tours) Philadelphians will be able to purchase their seats for any of the shows from Oct. 20 to Nov. 28 of this year.

For most, this show marks the opening of a long-awaited live season, and as one of the most popular stage shows from the last few decades, you could say all of Philly is waiting with bated breath.

Hamilton
Joseph Morales and Nik Walker will lead the second national tour of Hamilton as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, respectively.
Joan Marcus

“It was the luck of how we scheduled it. It’s a show that was such a smash success. It opened on Broadway in 2016 and it’s just been such a smash phenomenon in the last 5 years and they can experience it right in Philly,” says Frances Egler, Senior Director of Programming and Presentations at the Kimmel Cultural Campus. “It’s an uncertain time, but it’s bringing the best of Broadway to Philly, which is what our audience always want. We will be taking all of the measures that we need to take to ensure a safe and excellent audience experience. People will be able to just sit back and enjoy one of the most popular Broadway shows in the last few decades.”

Hamilton lived near Independence Hall when he was the Secretary of the Treasury in Philadelphia, and the Academy of Music was built in 1857 while seven of his nine children were still alive at that time. So, you could say historically, it makes sense.

“What’s great about bringing ‘Hamilton’ to Philadelphia…It’s one of the few cities he’s actually lived in. It’s a musical that takes the history of the revolutionary times and in the beginning of the United States and transports [it] into the modern musical style of hip-hop, pop and rap… And how they do that almost seamlessly is almost incredible to watch.”

But most importantly, this show marks the kickoff of the Broadway season in Philadelphia.

“We’ve had this time, and we’ve used it to bring up the ventilation system to what is the new required code for filtration. It’s a sense of anticipation, and there’s also a sense of we need to be prepared. There’s a real feeling of people just wanting to do something and wanting to leave their houses, and to be able to see an amazing show like ‘Hamilton.’ Our job is to make sure they have a wonderful time and don’t have to worry about anything,” explains Egler. “They just have to come see the show and we take care of everything else, which we always do, but its a new time and its making sure that we are following every detail.”

It’s taken a lot of work, but bringing everyone back together safely is a priority, because it’s been apparent that we all are yearning for more connection—and it’s finally here.

Joan Marcus
Joan Marcus

“You just miss that connection… We’ve all been in our houses and we’ve all been streaming movies and musicals online and watching our favorite artists perform for us. It’s been great to have that opportunity to do that, and we’ve [the Kimmel] done that throughout the year and have worked on still bringing people the best of Broadway.

“But what this allows is to make that connection between artist and audience and between you and your fellow audience members. That’s what people haven’t had, and I think everyone is really missing that because it’s that communal experience where you’re sitting in a theater and experiencing that performance at the same time. It’s that energy that the actors and performers need that the audience gives to them…It’s a totally different experience than sitting in your home and [watching] a performance. That shared audience experience is what we’re all excited to bring back and absolutely what our audiences are missing.”

‘Hamilton’ will be playing at the Academy of Music this fall. To learn more information, visit kimmelculturalcampus.org

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