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Sydney secures staging of Broadway hit musical Hamilton
Sydney has secured the rights to Broadway hit Hamilton after an intense battle between the NSW capital and Melbourne to stage the successful hip-hop musical, which follows the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States.
Set to open in 2021 at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre, the intervention of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reportedly been key to attract the producers to the harbour city.
With the production set to start casting later this year, Premier advised “this is a highly successful, highly sought after musical.
"Many cities we know in Australia put up their hands but the producers could not resist the wonderful backdrop that Sydney offers.
"It does give me some pleasure to get one up on Melbourne, only because they bid very hard for it as well and we pipped them to the post."
How much the NSW Government spent to secure the rights has not been revealed but it was enough to fend off not only interstate competition but also other cities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following this week’s announcement, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote Hamilton, sent a message to local fans via video, advising “thank you to everyone in Australia who's been asking for Hamilton. It's on its way."
Hamilton has won a mass of awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, and has been described as a game changer in the musical-theatre genre, particularly in its casting of performers from diverse backgrounds.
Hamilton will be produced in Australia by Michael Cassel, with casting expected to take place later this year.
Cassal commented “it's a huge deal. There's no bigger musical in the world right now than Hamilton, so for Sydney to be able to host the Asia-Pacific premiere at the Lyric Theatre is very exciting.
"What's so unique about this production is that it blends rap, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, blues and Broadway.
"For people who may not traditionally be fans of musical theatre, this is a great way to come and experience this incredible production and its incredible score."
NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin acknowledged Premier Berejiklian’s efforts in backing the bid and taking the time to brief the US producers on everything Sydney has to offer.
He advised “the Premier made a personal commitment to make sure we got this.
"She knew how important it was to us to achieve our ambition of being number one for musical theatre in Asia-Pacific, so she put her weight behind us."
NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres says it is expected to draw in more than 130,000 visitors to the city, generating about $84 million in economic benefit for NSW.
Minister Ayres added “we think that this is right in the sweet spot of our return on investment benchmarks, based on the amount of people and their average spends.
"We think this will be a fantastic investment for the taxpayer."
Images: Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda thanked fans who had been asking for the show to come to Australia (top, courtesy of Joan Marcus) and the Hamilton logo (below).
15th March 2019 - Theatre-ticketing platform TodayTix launches in Sydney
22nd June 2018 - NSW Government invests in musical theatre and visitor economy
24th March 2015 - Les Miserables producer slams inadequate Sydney theatre provision
14th February 2013 - Concert acts combine with corporate events at The Star
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