Broadway businesses reaping benefits of 'Hamilton' success

Sandy Kenyon Image
Monday, June 20, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon has the details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- When "Hamilton" star Lin-Manuel Miranda takes his final bow on the hit show's stage next month, he won't be the only one. Co-star Leslie Odom Jr. has also announced that July 9's performance will be his last.

Meanwhile, the show's popularity does not appear to be slowing down, and businesses near Broadway are reaping the benefits.

The parking attendants are reporting bigger tips, and the pizza place across the street has a line almost as long as the one at the show's box-office.

The departure of Miranda, Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo, who portrays his wife, are not expected to hurt the show very much.

People are so anxious to get in that they wait for days outside to get the few tickets that become available before each performance.

Eager theater goers are willing to take premium seats, standing room or whatever becomes available through cancellations.

"I've been here since Sunday," one hopeful said, with full knowledge the next show isn't until Tuesday.

The success of the show has been music to the ears of nearby businesses.

"Hamilton has been amazing for business," said Mara Levezow, manager of the Joe Allen restaurant. "It's right down the street, so we kind of lucked out."

Joe Allen is a Broadway hang-out where posters of famous flops adorn the walls. "Hamilton" is not destined to join the wall of shame.

Perhaps nowhere is the success of the show so prominent than in The Drama Bookshop, where the star did a book signing.

"The shop is 99 years old this year," owner Rozanne Seelen said. "And we've never had a crowd like that."

Seelen remembers when Miranda developed an earlier hit, "In The Heights," in her basement. He proved his loyalty forever when a pipe burst and flooded the store. "Hamilton's" creator urged his thousands of fans to buy books there.

"It saved us," she said. "It literally saved the book shop."

Miranda never forgot where he started, and his show is so popular that it's become an industry and started to create jobs.

There's even a company that will wait on the ticket line for you at a cost of $25 an hour to start and $20 an hour after that.