DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Acclaimed Broadway show “Hamilton” opens at the Schuster Center Wednesday, and organizers are expecting the musical will be the boost downtown needs after the pandemic has left its mark on businesses and the arts.
Dayton Live said it expects about 32,000 people will come downtown during the show’s two week run.
“It’s been definitely a large undertaking. We know so many people are excited to see this show. We actually have our most subscriptions to our whole Broadway season that we’ve ever seen of people wanting to guarantee that they get these ‘Hamilton’ tickets,” said Kailey Yeakley, Manager of Social Media and Communications for Dayton Live.
Like theater staff, restaurant owners are just as excited.
“We rely on the shows for our business at night and since the pandemic it’s been really rough,” said Joe Kiley, co-owner of Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill on North Main Street.
Struggling since the pandemic, Uno’s is ready to welcome in performance-goers. Broadway hits like Wicked and the Lion King in recent years have brought in some of the restaurant’s biggest crowds. The hot-spot is preparing for an increase in traffic from “Hamilton.”
“It’ll definitely be the busiest since the pandemic. It’s just not probably going to rise to the level of Wicked and Lion King just because of our staffing levels,” said Kiley.
Operating with reduced staffing, Uno’s said walk-ins could be tricky, so it’s best to make a reservation.
“I’ve already shut off reservations for several days this week. We took as many as we thought we’d be able to handle,” said Kiley.
The hype and the hit of “Hamilton” is expected to be a boost for downtown Dayton, filling seats in both restaurants and the theater and putting money into the local economy.
“It’s such a great energy when everyone is so excited to see the show and the whole phenomena of ‘Hamilton,'” said Yeakley.
Performances run through February 6.