“Hamilton” may celebrate inclusion, but the frenzied quest for tickets to the musical’s Los Angeles run has left some ticket hopefuls confused or worried they will be left out.
Performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre don’t start until Aug. 11, but “Hamilton” is already the hottest theater ticket around, and parsing out the rules can be as complex as a fantasy baseball league.
First, the basics: An allotment of tickets for performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre will go on sale to American Express cardholders on April 19. Individual tickets for the general public go on sale April 30. Some tickets will range from $85 to $225; premium seats will start at $650. A lottery will be held for 40 orchestra seats, each $10, for all performances.
When the Pantages announced its 2016-17 season in January 2016, customers who bought season packages received first dibs on “Hamilton” tickets as part of their seven-show package. When those packages sold out in July 2016, the Pantages began offering a Flex Package allowing audiences to choose a minimum of five shows from among the season’s offerings, plus add-on shows such as the 20th anniversary tour of “Rent.”
Here’s where the confusion grows: “Hamilton” was never one of the Flex Package shows, the Pantages said. There was no guarantee that the purchase of a Flex Package would bring a preferential spot in the “Hamilton” ticket line, the theater said.
Some theatergoers, however, have said they purchased a Flex Package solely because they were told it was a way to nab early “Hamilton” tickets. The issue sparked a string of complaints against the Pantages on Twitter.
Long Beach resident Danny Paskin said he bought a Flex Package for his family because a theater representative told him by phone last year that doing so would allow him to buy "Hamilton" tickets before they went on sale to others.
“We were told that by getting a Flex Package, which was not cheap at all, we would have first access to tickets, and we’re not,” Paskin said. “Now they’re arguing, ‘What we meant to say is we would let you know first when the date for the general sale is,’ but the way we look at it is, we were deceived.”
The Pantages said it was explicit about the details in July 2016 and March 2017 email blasts sent to Flex Package buyers and potential audiences and outlined the rules on its website. A representative said the theater’s communications were “extraordinarily clear.”
That means fans who still want tickets can try on April 30, when tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. They will be sold on the Pantages website, by phone at (800) 982-2787 and at the Pantages box office.
And for those who can’t wait until August to see “Hamilton,” the national tour is playing in San Francisco. As Times theater critic Charles McNulty noted, the touring production proves that the musical is as vital as ever.
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