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Backstage Buzz: ‘Hamilton’ Ticket Lottery to Go Digital for Winter

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Photo: Jesse Neider for The Wall Street Journal
It’s going to be quite a year for Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright Danai Gurira. Known to TV audiences as the character Michonne on AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” Ms. Gurira is about to have two of her plays simultaneously on Broadway and off-Broadway.
“Familiar,” her new play about a Zimbabwean family in Minnesota, begins previews Feb. 12 at Playwrights Horizons, with opening night set for March 3. Meanwhile, on Feb. 23, her acclaimed work “Eclipsed,” starring Lupita Nyong’o, begins previews on Broadway at the Golden Theatre and opens March 6, after a successful run at the Public Theater.
Last-minute $10 “Hamilton” tickets are about to get a little easier—and, because of that, actually a little harder to obtain. Starting Tuesday, the daily lottery for 21 front-row tickets will temporarily go online. Entry, limited to one per person a day, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run through 11 a.m. for matinees and through 4 p.m. for evening performances. Winners will be notified by email and have a one-hour window to claim and purchase their tickets.
The move to digital isn’t just to keep fans from having to wait out in the cold. The change, said producers, also has to do with working out traffic problems caused by the crowds at the in-person lottery and the popular, daily and often impromptu “Ham4Ham” performances that take place on West 46th Street outside the Richard Rodgers. Those will also be taking a break and resume this spring.
Jeremy Shamos, Kate Jennings Grant, David Furr, Andrea Martin and Campbell Scott in Roundabout Theatre Company\'s \'Noises Off.\'
The theater season won’t start really cooking with gas until early April, but the cold month of January still has some potential winners. The Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of “Noises Off,” which started previews in late December and opens Jan. 14, features a who’s who of stage vets, including
Tracee Chimo, Kate Jennings Grant, Megan Hilty and Rob McClure. Expect more than just silly pratfalls: It’s directed by
who helmed last season’s “Wolf Hall” and is also the artistic director of the U.K.’s very buzzy Headlong Theatre.
The Manhattan Theatre Club is presenting two new plays by two seasoned playwrights. There’s Richard Greenberg’s “Our Mother’s Brief Affair,” starring the always watchable Linda Lavin, which started previews Dec. 28 and opens Jan. 20 at the Samuel J. Friedman. And there’s
’s latest, “Prodigal Son,” a boarding-school drama, which begins previews Jan. 19 in MTC’s New York City Center Stage I, and features Robert Sean Leonard, who last appeared on Broadway in “Born Yesterday” in 2011 with Nina Arianda.
Fans of immersive theater are closely watching for any news on “The Grand Paradise,” Third Rail Projects’ follow-up to the still-running, often sold-out “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired “Then She Fell.” This one, opening Jan. 30 at the company’s new 5,000-square-foot space in Bushwick, is set in a vintage Florida resort.
Producers are always inserting famous people into Broadway shows for short runs in order to goose box-office numbers during the winter months. Not that these shows necessarily need goosing, but here’s some stunt casting we’d buy full-price tickets for:
as Carole King in “Beautiful”…and Joshua Bell as the fiddler on the roof in “Fiddler on the Roof.”
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