‘Hamilton’ fans swarm Kennedy Center site as tickets go on sale to public

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Hamilton' ticket sales (Jason Fraley)

WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s “Hamilton” tickets went on sale to the public at 8 a.m. Monday, and within minutes, tens of thousands of people had lined up in person and online.

In person, the box office line stretched outside the Kennedy Center and around the Watergate side of the building five times over. As of noon, the line had whittled to inside the building.

Online, experiences have varied. WTOP staffers who logged onto the Kennedy Center website saw their place in line range from 6,400 to 18,000 to 65,000. One staffer received his tickets within five minutes. Another received them after four hours. Others are still waiting.

Some folks waited a few hours only to receive the following error message:

If you received this error message, don’t panic. The Kennedy Center tells WTOP that your attempt was documented in their system. They are in the process of emailing everyone who received an error message. If your bank or credit card statement shows a pending payment, there’s a very good chance that your payment was processed.

If you have further questions, you can reach out on Twitter @KenCen. Calling the phone number isn’t your best bet, as you might be on hold for a while.

Last month’s members-only pre-sale saw roughly 70,000 people log into the queue. One WTOP staffer waited nearly 14 hours from 9 a.m. until 10:48 p.m.

Ticket prices for Monday’s public sale range from $99 to $199 with select premium seats at $625. There is a maximum purchase limit of four tickets per household.

There will also be 40 orchestra seats for $10, but details on this promotion will be announced at a later date.

The hip-hop musical about the life and death of founding father Alexander Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards on Broadway, including Best Musical, but did you know that the show also has plenty of D.C. roots?

Director Thomas Kail hails from Alexandria, Virginia, and attended school in Northwest D.C.

“I went to Sidwell Friends,” Kail told WTOP. “Every day, you go by these monuments, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Lincoln. I always wanted to make history feel relevant.”

Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda first tested his songbook at a White House poetry jam in 2009.

“What happened that night is what’s happened in real life: They laugh because it’s a crazy idea, then they get sucked into the story,” Miranda told WTOP during his 2016 Records of Achievement Award at the National Archives. “That’s the power that Hamilton’s life holds.”

And original cast member Leslie Odom Jr. visited the Kennedy Center Spring Gala in 2017.

“You don’t mess with people and their ‘Hamilton’ tickets,” Odom Jr. joked with WTOP.

The national tour hits the Kennedy Center for a 14-week run from June 12 through Sept. 16.

WTOP’s William Vitka contributed to this report.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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