• Local fans also wonder if city officials previously lied about Century II being too outdated to host the production as part of effort to promote demolition and redevelopment.
The hip-hop Broadway musical “Hamilton” has been announced for the 2020-21 stage series Broadway in Wichita, which brings in touring shows.
No date is set, but organizers say the production will be staged in Century II’s Concert Hall.
The announcement was made March 3 by Broadway in Wichita organizer American Theatre Guild, which is based in Kansas City.
The guild says musical-goers can join the 2020-21 season to receive first access to tickets for “Hamilton” and its local premiere. For info, visit americantheatreguild.com/wichita.
The 2020-21 season will also bring in productions of “Disney’s The Lion King” (Oct. 1-18), “The Simon & Garfunkel Story” (Nov. 27), “Fiddler on the Roof” (Feb. 5-6), “An Officer and a Gentleman” (March 15-17, 2021), and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” (April 19-21, 2021).
“Hamilton” is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. He was famously killed in a pistol duel by Vice President Aaron Burr.
“Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, ‘Hamilton’ is the story of America then, as told by America now,” its press releases say.
The musical has broken Broadway box-office records and scored many awards, including multiple Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Locals welcomed the announcement, KWCH News reported
“I think it’s a great experience for anyone not just kids in dance it’s really a fantastic show,” Midwest Dance Mechanix owner Jana Owen told KWCH.
Dancer Asaira Usher agreed. “I’m gonna buy one for me one for my boyfriend my friends were going to make it a group thing,” she said.
The news spread quickly over Facebook by excited fans.
It also spread for another reason: Wichitans had previously been told by city officials that the musical wouldn’t come to the city due to outdated facilities at Century II, a signature Wichita building now at the center of controversial redevelopment proposals. including demolition.
The reaction was pointed.
Resident Erin Riley posted a screen grab of a Feb 21, 2019 tweet from the City of Wichita and linked a 2019 Wichita Eagle article covering the city officials’ statement.
“Just wanted to share this now that Hamilton in Wichita was announced this week,” she wrote on Facebook. “City leaders are straight up lying to the public in their bid to tear down Century II.”
If such comments are an indication, then when Hamilton finally faces Burr on the local stage, it might be a flashpoint for a real-life downtown showdown.