SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Hundreds of people braved the cold Monday for the hottest ticket in town - the blockbuster musical "Hamilton," which will debut in San Francisco in 2017.
Tickets went on sale at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office at 10 a.m., prompting some die-hard fans to wait in line for nearly 24 hours for a shot at a seat at the musical that's taken the nation by storm.
The show uses rap music to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's Founding Fathers.
The Broadway production has garnered strong reviews and been very popular with many in the country. Hillary Clinton cited the play when she gave her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last summer and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence scored tickets to the play, a visit that caused a dust-up with President-Elect Donald Trump when the the cast directed some sharp words to Pence.
In San Francisco, the line on Monday to buy tickets snaked down one extremely long city block in front of the theater on Market Street. At 4 pm, history buffs and theater lovers were still in line, but officials said no new people were being allowed to stand in the queue.
"We saw a PBS special on [Hamilton] and we were both totally blown away by it. So excited to see this!" said one man who was planning to buy tickets for him and his partner.
"I went and saw it in New York. It was fabulous and so I'm back," said Patty Hong from Alamo. "It's brilliant! Best musical ever. Better than Les Miserables. Better than Phantom of the Opera!"
Fans came armed with sleeping bags, blankets, chairs, thermoses of hot coffee, novels and decks of cards to pass the time.
The Pfeiffer family of four from Marin County hauled themselves out of bed at three o'clock in the morning and were in line by four. "We feel nuts, but this is so worth it!" they squealed as the three children burst into a song from the musical.
People told KTVU that they were drawn to "Hamilton" because of its infusion of history with rap music.
"We're just so excited that it's so ethnic; it tells the real story," said one woman from San Francisco.
"I think they merge really good politics and really good art. Our souls need this during this political climate," said another.
"It adds a little bit of pepper to things that usually don't have pepper," said one man from San Francisco, who had stood in line since 3 a.m.
"I like Hamilton because it's just so different from all the other musicals. It's rap and all the other ones are very show ‘tuney.’"
Tickets range from $100-$524.
It was quite clear that scalpers were paying people to stand in line to buy tickets for them and then immediately afterwards, they began selling the tickets on the sidewalk or Stub Hub for double the cost. Police say that eventually Hamilton fans chased the scalpers off, calling them un-American.Legitimate tickets went up for the sale online today as well, but the wait was up 100,000 when fans checked in.
"Yeah, I'm like number 46,000-something!" Hong said.
Heidi Benenson of Walnut Creek scored tickets on the phone while standing in line and then offered her phone to others so that they could buy tickets. At least three people came up to her afterwards, hugging her, one man even cried.
"I called the number and I got through to an attendant and I got to get my tickets and now it's been through six other people getting theirs. I'm so happy!" said Benenson.
Carlos Moreno jumped in line last night at ten o'clock, a spur-of-the-moment decision.
"I wasn't prepared at all. I ended up sleeping on the ground!" Moreno said.
One man performed his happy dance after snatching up two tickets. "I didn't want to be greedy!" The maximum number of tickets one could buy was six.
"Hamilton" runs March 10 through Aug. 5, 2017. Officials told KTVU that the best availability was from April 27-Aug. 5 and for seats in the prime orchestra and Prime Loge sections as well as scattered single seats across all performances dates.
By KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty.