Arts & Culture

Will Fort Worth miss its shot at ‘Hamilton’?

‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda gives his final performance in New York in July. The musical will begin touring in March.
‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda gives his final performance in New York in July. The musical will begin touring in March. AP archives

On Sunday morning, Dallas Summer Musicals officially announced it had booked the highly anticipated tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking Hamilton — although by the time the DSM issued its press release at 9 a.m., the news had been reported widely by DFW media outlets, including the Star-Telegram, for about a day.

The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical will play at the Music Hall at Fair Park in the 2018-19 season, as will the hit musical Aladdin; for the best access to tickets for those shows, audience members must subscribe to the 2017-18 season. Those subscriptions went on sale Sunday.

What was missing from the DSM’s season announcement, though, was any mention of shows that might also have a run in Fort Worth. Since 2014, Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth have shared bookings of national touring shows. For instance, DSM will present An American in Paris, Tuesday through Feb. 12, and then PAFW will present it at Bass Hall, Feb. 14-19.

They typically announce their seasons together, as they did in June for their 2016-17 seasons.

Failing to mention Fort Worth in DSM’s press materials Sunday caused some on the west side of the Metroplex to question whether the partnership between the entities has been discontinued, and what that could mean for the quality of shows that will come to Fort Worth.

Last year, DSM began using Broadway Across America, the most prominent Broadway tour booker in the country, to book its shows. Performing Arts Fort Worth is the tour booker at Bass Hall.

“DSM is excited about our new partnership with Broadway Across America and our exciting lineup; therefore, we wanted to get this information to our subscribers as soon as possible,” DSM spokesman Francisco Chairez told the Star-Telegram on Sunday in response to questions about why Fort Worth show dates were not mentioned in its season announcement. “We have a wonderful relationship with PAFW and will continue working very closely with them in the future.”

A PAFW spokesman said its season will be announced soon, but didn’t offer any details.

In 2016, DSM fired its longtime president and managing director, Michael Jenkins, and announced its partnership with Broadway Across America. That decision has already had an impact on DSM, as the 2017-18 season is filled with new Broadway shows, which creates an advantage over its competitor in Dallas, the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Tours at ATTPAC’s Winspear Opera House are booked by Shorenstein Hays Nederlander. The last few seasons, ATTPAC has gotten most of the major tours, and DSM picked up lesser titles.

The other big advantage the Music Hall has is more seats — more than 1,000 more than Winspear or Bass Hall. That matters to the tours of shows that sell out, such as Wicked and Hamilton, which begins its national tour in San Francisco in March. ATTPAC’s 2017-18 season has not been announced. 

Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2017-18 season is:

▪ Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Dec. 5-10 (subscriber add-on)

▪ The Color Purple, Jan. 23-Feb. 4, 2018

▪ On Your Feet!, Feb. 27-March 11, 2018

▪ Waitress, March 28-April 8, 2018

▪ Les Misérables, April 24-May 6, 2018

▪ The Lion King, June 13-July 8, 2018

▪ Love Never Dies, July 24-Aug. 5, 2018

▪ School of Rock, Aug. 15-26, 2018

Season tickets for DSM’s 2017-18 season start at $150 and are on sale now. Visit www.dallassummermusicals.org.

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