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Hotter than 'Hamilton'? Kusama 'Infinity Mirrors' frenzy prompts the Broad to offer 40,000 more tickets

Just how high is the demand for the Broad’s upcoming “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” exhibition? After 50,000 tickets sold out in less than an hour earlier this month, the museum announced Monday that it would sell 40,000 additional tickets and stay open later each day to allow more fans into the show.

Those additional tickets go on sale at noon Oct. 2.

“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors,” which will feature six of the artist’s Instagram-friendly room installations, initially sold out Sept. 1. An estimated 150,000 people queued up for tickets within the first five minutes of the online sale, the museum said. The Broad, which is usually free, is charging $25 for the special exhibition.

The ticket frenzy came despite — or perhaps because of — the fact that the museum already has one Kusama “Infinity Mirror” room in its permanent collection. “Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” is the most popular attraction at the museum, made even more popular by its use in an Adele music video.

“We’ve had the Kusama piece ‘The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away’ since we opened in September 2015, and so we have some idea of the passion Kusama’s work elicits from our audience,” said Broad Director Joanne Heyler. “But even we were taken by surprise by the tremendous number of people seeking tickets during our first ticket release. We responded the best we can to have as many people as possible see this incredible show.”

During the first Kusama sale, some would-be buyers expressed confusion over how the digital ticket line operated. This time around, the museum is advising ticket buyers to go to thebroad.org between 11 a.m. and noon, then wait in the online waiting room until the sale opens at noon. At that point, the process will become something of a lottery: Hopefuls in the waiting room will receive a randomized number allowing them to buy tickets, or they will be notified that they haven’t been selected and can’t buy a ticket. Visitors who enter the online waiting room at 11 a.m. will have the same chances as those who enter at 11:59 a.m.

Kusama fans who don’t get tickets can still try another way: the standby line once the exhibition opens. The museum has set aside 50,000 standby tickets, to be doled out daily throughout the run of the exhibition.

Visitors will have about 30 seconds in each of the six “Infinity Mirror” rooms, all immersive, kaleidoscopic environments. But visitors can stay as long as they like in other parts of the exhibition, which includes paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the 88-year-old Japanese artist.

See the Broad’s step-by-step guide for how to buy Kusama tickets Oct. 2. The exhibition opens Oct. 21.

deborah.vankin@latimes.com

Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin

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