‘Hamilton’ hysteria hits DC as ticket hopefuls flood Kennedy Center website

This image released by The Public Theater shows Lin-Manuel Miranda, foreground, with the cast during a performance of "Hamilton," in New York. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP)

WASHINGTON — Theater fans in D.C. have been excited for months for their chance at grabbing “Hamilton” tickets when the national tour hits the Kennedy Center this summer.

As expected, demand was so high that the internet exploded all around the nation’s capital.

When Kennedy Center members logged online Wednesday morning, they entered a virtual waiting room where they found themselves in a very long queue for pre-sale tickets.

This virtual waiting room was created as a way to prevent the website from crashing, as it has in the past during such hotly-anticipated shows as “The Book of Mormon” and “Wicked.”

Members who logged online prior to 10 a.m. were randomly assigned a number and put into a formal queue ahead of anyone who jumped online after 10 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., WTOP’s Sue Rushkowski found herself in 47,269th place in the queue. As for 5:30 p.m., she still had 27,000 people ahead of her. She finally got to the front of the line at 10:38 p.m. but decided against buying the remaining premium seats at $625 a pop.

At its peak, roughly 70,000 users were in the system.

Wednesday’s message reminded folks: “If you are not a Kennedy Center member, you will not be able to purchase tickets today. The public on-sale date will take place in March.”

The exact date for the general public has not been announced yet. The on-sale date will be announced 10-14 days in advance. It will be sometime in late March.

Tickets officially cost between $99 and $625 with a four-ticket limit per household.

The prices vary on resale websites. As of 4:30 p.m., StubHub had opening night tickets listed as low as $731 and as high as $2,574. Other days offered tickets as low as $335.

The buzz wasn’t just online Wednesday. There were also long lines physically outside the Kennedy Center box office, where people began camping out as early as 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Folks who tried calling the Kennedy Center found the phone lines jammed with the voicemail: “Thank you for calling the Kennedy Center. Due to high call volume, all lines are busy.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, as well as a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

The national tour hits D.C. for a 14-week run from June 12 through Sept. 16.

Here is what the wait-list message looked like for ticket hopefuls on Wednesday:

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