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'Hamilton' Audition Draws Hundreds to Chelsea Block

By Valeria Ricciulli | May 3, 2016 5:39pm
 Carlos Jimenez, 30, and Nashma Rodriguez, 24, had been waiting in line for five hours.
Carlos Jimenez, 30, and Nashma Rodriguez, 24, had been waiting in line for five hours.
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DNAinfo/Valeria Ricciulli

NEW YORK CITY — Aspiring Broadway performers from around the country flocked to Chelsea on Tuesday to audition for Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical "Hamilton" — lining up around the block in the rain on the same day the show received 16 Tony award nominations.

Hundreds of singers, dancers and actors waited for up to five hours in front of Chelsea Studios, at 151 W. 26 St., in a line that stretched around the block between seventh and sixth avenues.

"We're all here just trying to have our shot," said Nader Helmy, 21, who traveled to New York City from Minnesota just for this chance.

The open call — which was scheduled to run from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. but was still going as of 2:30 — was seeking "singers who rap" and are in their 20s and 30s, according to the musical's website.

They would cover "non-white" principal roles, excluding the role of King George, and if chosen, they would be taken along national tours and/or serve as future replacements, according to the website.

"Lin-Manuel is opening a path for Latinos and other minorities," said singer Carlos Jimenez, 30, from Puerto Rico. "I've been rejected many times because I have an accent or because I'm Hispanic, but this musical is something else."

Those who got into the audition, like Queens native Justin Ramirez, said their time to shine was brief.

"It took a minute, but that's like any audition, you sing your song and then they say 'goodbye' we'll e-mail if you have a call back," Ramirez said.

Some of those still waiting used their time in line to get in a little extra practice.


"Rostafa" sings while he waits in line to audition for @hamiltonmusical in #NYC. @dnainfonyc

A video posted by Valeria Ricciulli (@valericciulli) on



This is how long the line was during today's @hamiltonmusical auditions in Midtown. #NYC #Hamilton

A video posted by Valeria Ricciulli (@valericciulli) on