If everything goes according to plan, the apotheosis of Alexander Hamilton—the man, the myth, the musical juggernaut—will take place on the twelfth day of June in this the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Those in attendance at the Tony Awards will have seen this fate foretold, written upon the brows of the producers at the Public Theater, who were last year considering the perfect moment to move Hamilton to Broadway, knowing it would smash all in its path at the Tonys. (They were right: The 16 nominations are more than any other Broadway show in history.) The decision to move Hamilton after last year’s awards means the Public is all but assured back-to-back wins—its adaptation of Allison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home won Best Musical for 2015.
In Times Square, it’s hard to miss the crowd for Hamilton. Twice a week, police are called in to monitor traffic during Ham4Ham, barricading the crowd on both sides of 46th Street in front of the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Between the matinee and evening performance, a lottery is held for $10 tickets—thus Ham4Ham—and as the crowd awaits the winners, the cast performs a skit or a sing-a-long, sometimes flipping roles or riffing on Les Miz. (The Broadway lottery, now a staple for college students on a free afternoon, originated 20 years ago with another sold out crowd-favorite, Rent.)