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Blockbuster 'Hamilton' returns for another run on Charlotte stage
Tony-winner part of 2020-21 PNC Broadway Lights
Published Monday, September 9, 2019 2:52 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

The Tony-winning play "Hamilton" returns to Charlotte as part of the 2020-21 PNC Broadway Lights lineup.

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“Hamilton” is coming back.

Blumenthal Performing Arts announced today the show will be featured in its 2020-21 PNC Broadway Lights lineup. The season schedule will be released in the spring. The 11-time Tony Award-winning musical chronicling the inaugural United Sates treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, made its debut of at Belk Theater last fall, producing an estimated $25 million in economic impact during its four-week run.

“That’s using information [about economic impact] from the Broadway League that has studied this a lot,” said Blumenthal President and CEO Tom Gabbard in April when the show’s second run was confirmed, it was a matter of how quickly it would return. “That comes from everything from everything to hotels to local stagehands and musicians who are hired to restaurants. Restaurants are actually a pretty big deal here. We purposefully don’t have a lot of food options in our theater, because we want people to each at restaurants before and after, which is a little bit different from the stadiums, where they want people eating there in the stadium. In our case, we’ve got great local restaurants, and we want them going there.”

Another component comes from people who visit Charlotte for shows like this.

“There are a lot of people who travel to come to our shows here,” Gabbard said. “Some may travel across the country because a show is playing a limited number of cities, but we have subscribers who may live 100 miles away and making an overnight stay is a part of their routine. Those stays are significant with almost every show that we do.”

Charlotte was selected as a location for the Hamilton Education Initiative (EduHam) during the inaugural run. Two thousand students and teachers from 22 high schools across the Southeast participated in the region’s first EduHam, which was among only 14 throughout the nation. Five Charlotte-Mecklenburg Title I high schools participated in the program—Vance, Garinger, Harding University, West Charlotte and West Mecklenburg. It was the culmination of incorporating specific curriculum centered on the Revolutionary era in the classroom. EduHam day included 14 student performances at Belk Theater, a Q&A with the “Hamilton” cast, as well as a chance to see the show for $10. The program’s return has yet to be confirmed.

“They’ve made a limited number of commitments to that,” Gabbard said. “It’s a very expensive program. It likely would not be duplicated exactly as we saw it here. They’re looking at ways to make it available to more students.”

An online version of the program was announced in July by “Hamilton” and The Gilder Lehrman Institue of American History. The pilot program launched for the 2019-20 schoolyear, with 76 participating schools. It is a free digital program available to grades 6-12 in public, private, charter and parochial schools. The programs goal is to serve 250,000 Title I students and teachers through 2020.

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