LOS ANGELES — It was a long intermission, but the wait to see “Hamilton” live on stage at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre just got a lot shorter.  

What You Need To Know

  • "Hamilton" will open at Pantages on August 17

  • Opening had previously been planned for October 12

  • Safety measures may include requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test

  • Theatre hosted a vaccine pop-up with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show

The theater has announced a new opening date of August 17. That is two months earlier than previously announced and 523 days after the show was abruptly forced to hold the curtain.

After such an incredibly long intermission, Sabrina Sloan walked into the Pantages Theatre Friday morning and her heart went boom.

“I have goosebumps just being in a theater,” she said, beaming. “It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been inside any theater, and I can’t wait.”

Unlike Aaron Burr, she does not have to. It was on a Zoom call that she and the cast learned their first performance had been moved up to late summer.

“It was like ‘Oh my gosh! Yes! We get to go back!’ But also a little anxiety I think,” she said.

For Sloan, this is very much a homecoming. She first came to the Pantage Theatre as an audience member.

“I’m pretty sure I saw 'Phantom of the Opera' with my dad here when I was 6 or 7,” she recalled. “Very young.”

She later returned as a performer, taking the Hollywood stage several times including in a production of “In the Heights” with Lin-Manuel Miranda. She was slated to play Angelica Schuyler in the cast of “Hamilton” that was set to open for a lengthy sit down at the theater in March of 2020.  

That production was shut down right as they were about to start previews.

“This particular cast has never actually performed this show together for an audience. So, that makes it, you know, even sweeter,” said Sloan.

Of course, August is still three months away and Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said how things go will depends on what happens after the state’s reopening target of June 15.

“I think, you know, the theater is planning for the best and if people are full vaccinated that definitely helps,” he said. In fact, theater was preparing to host a vaccine pop-up. As an incentive, they were giving away a pair of free tickets to the popular musical.”

Even though the situation continues to evolve, Broadway in Hollywood has put together COVID-19 safety protocols that includes wearing masks and a having sanitizer at the ready.

Proof of vaccinations or a negative test may also be necessary, since the theater is currently planning on reopening at 100% capacity, which Dr. Davis expects may make some people uncomfortable.

“Just being shoulder to shoulder with people, especially people they don‘t know, will be a shock factor,” he said.

“I think it will be an adjustment for everyone,” Sloan agreed, “but we’re all in it together. We’re all coming out of this crazy time together.” 

Being no stranger to Angelica, Sloan feels ready to go straight from zero to eight shows a week.

“I should be able to put on the corset and step out there and go,” she laughed.

She cannot wait to have an audience again, not because of the applause, but because of the community.

“The tears and the breath that they take with us as we’re telling the story because it’s different every single night,” she said, standing in the empty house amid a sea of plush red velvet seats. “That’s what I treasure about doing theater.”

That is also why she is so eager to get back in the room where it happens.