Open 'Hamilton' Auditions Bring Out Hundreds in the Rain | NBC Chicago

Open 'Hamilton' Auditions Bring Out Hundreds in the Rain

The smash-hit musical is seeking principals for the "Hamilton" national tour



    On the same day Hamilton earned a record 16 Tony Award nominations, performers lined up in the rain for their chance to be part of the pop culture phenomenon. John Chandler reports. (Published Tuesday, May 3, 2016)

    An open casting call for principal roles in the Broadway blockbuster "Hamilton" drew hundreds to audition Tuesday, hours after the musical made history.

    The line of hopefuls formed under a paper sign taped to Chelsea Studios on West 26th Street and snaked around the corner and up Sixth Avenue. The first person arrived at 8 p.m. Monday. By 4:46 p.m. Tuesday that paper sign was soaked by rain as the last person was called up to audition.

    Good luck is just as important as good talent, with tryouts facing longshot odds at landing a role in the Broadway smash hit, which was nominated for 16 Tony Awards on Tuesday, a record. 

    The parts are for principals, excluding King George, in the show's upcoming national tour. Producers are also looking for future replacements for the current Broadway production, which tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton through hip-hop.

    "I'm so nervous," said Chanelle Patrick. She flew in from Chicago on Monday and took a cab from LaGuardia Airport straight to the front of the line. She left believing the producer loved her singing.

    "When he started bobbing his head and I was picking up the speed, it seemed like he was feeling it," Patrick said. "Fingers crossed!"

    The wording of the open call notice was changed to "seeking excellent performers for our current Broadway company and upcoming national tours." It had previously called for "non-white" performers, drawing protests from some equity groups. 

    But the controversy didn't phase Iniko Dixon. 

    "You really don't see people of color in theater...this is a chance, and it's such a revolutionary chance and I think it's great," Dixon said.

    The Queens native sipped tea with honey in an attempt to soothe her voice. She waited in line for nearly 11 hours before finally getting called inside.

    She is one of hundreds waiting for that call back for another round of auditions on Thursday.