HAMILTON, Ohio — How does an Ohio city seeking a renaissance somehow get tourists to come and soak in the new ambiance? How does a does a local tourism bureau convince the world its home is rad? Simple: By name-dropping its dad.
The city of Hamilton will place a centerfold advertisement in the edition of Playbill every theatergoer receives when they see the Broadway musical “Hamilton” at the Aronoff Center this spring.
The tagline: You’ve seen the show. Now see the city.
Both the city and the Tony award-winning musical are named after Alexander Hamilton, who became the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury, sparked the country’s first political sex scandal and famously died in a duel with then-Vice President Aaron Burr.
The show frames him as a scrappy hero whose impulsive, self-righteous nature undermined his intelligence and accomplishments in others’ eyes — including those of the modern American people, who are more likely to know about the duel than his ascent from impoverished origins to the White House.
Hamilton the city doesn’t appear headed toward a tragic finale like its namesake, but those who live there might certainly argue it’s been overlooked and is due for reconsideration in the public eye.
The two-page ad has images of Hamilton art, culture and shopping, with a shot of Mike Neal, of Neal’s Famous BBQ, offering a plate of his ribs. About 63,000 people will see it during the musical's sold-out three-week run at the Aronoff.
No one can accuse Butler County’s seat of throwing away its shot.