I get lots and lots of questions about getting tickets to Hamilton because I've been fortunate enough to see the show multiple times. "There must be a secret you have," say my friends. Alas, no, I have no secret method, no insider pipeline. The good news though is that I don't/haven't done anything you can't do.
I would say that the single most important factor in my opportunities to see Hamilton more than once, and to see the original cast, has been my membership with The Public Theater in NYC. The Public, founded in 1962 by Joseph Papp, is a prolific incubator of new work. Their Lafayette Square home has five theater spaces, a music venue and a restaurant, and any given season will include all manner of productions, from workshops to full productions. The historic musical Hair, was born at The Public in 1967, and two recent Tony Award winners for Best New Musical, Fun Home (2015; now on tour) and Hamilton (2016), had their starts there. The Public doesn't offer subscriptions to the season, where you buy tickets to all shows in advance, but there are various levels of membership available, with benefits like early access to information and tickets, and some of which include advance, guaranteed tickets to the annual Shakespeare in the Park productions (free to the public, but only available the day of). How early your priority access is to the shows depends on level of membership, but it will still be before the general public. Memberships start at $65, and I've been a member for several years at different levels, primarily because I want to support the arts, especially new theatrical work, and I really like that, with membership rather than a subscription, I can decide on a show by show basis what I want to see.
Priority access to tickets is great, but the other benefit to Public membership is being introduced to new work before it becomes widely known. And that was the case with Hamilton. It showed up in the Public's 2015 season, and I was intrigued by a musical based on Alexander Hamilton (skeptical, mind you, but intrigued). I also knew Lin-Manuel Miranda was no stranger to writing successful musicals. So I bought a single ticket to the 3rd preview performance for $50. And then the word got out, and the entire run sold out before I could buy a ticket to see it again (which I immediately wanted to do after Act 1). But then it got extended. As a member, I was notified early about the extension. I jumped online and bought a pair of tickets, this time for $90/each. The friend who accompanied me thought I'd hung the moon by the time the house lights went up at intermission.
As expected, the show announced a Broadway transfer (to the media, not just Public members), and I immediately marked the on-sale date on my calendar. Then I made sure to buy tickets to two different performances at the same time, one before official opening, and one after (it's fun to compare how a show changes during previews!). I bought a single ticket for one show, and a pair of tickets to another, figuring I'd find someone available to go with me. I didn't check with people first, to see if they could go; that would have taken too much time, I just bought the tickets. I purchased one premium ticket in the front orchestra for my single ticket to treat myself (regular price, approx. $250), and the first row of the mezzanine for the second pair of tickets for about $150/each, knowing I'd likely be reimbursed for that 2nd ticket.
My Public Theater membership came in handy again when I was given the opportunity to attend a special performance and afterparty with the cast, to benefit the Public Theater. Despite how that sounds, I'm not a VIP at all, just a member, and the tickets (for show/party combined) were $500, with some of that constituting a charitable donation (for that amount now, you'd barely get a regular price ticket in the mezzanine). If you wanted to spend the money, and acted fast enough, you could go. At the request of friends, I also took advantage of an American Express presale for a new Broadway ticket release and the tickets were $199 each (regular price, side orchestra). Getting those tickets required lots of waiting on hold, and navigating a ticketing system rife with problems like nonfunctioning presale codes, etc. It wasn't pretty, but the tickets were mine at the end. So part of this is how much trouble you're able and willing to endure to see this show!
Aside from advance notice, and the willingness to try something new, the deciding factor, of course, is money. Hamilton tickets are expensive, even the cheap seats are not cheap anymore. Expect to feel lucky if you can get regular price tickets for $200 each, and expect them to be at the rear of the theater. No question, the show is worth that, and considerably more, but not everyone can, will or should, spend that money on a theater ticket, no matter how wonderful the show. Without discussing the financial wisdom of my choices :), the bottom line is that I spent various amounts on tickets, have never purchased tickets on the secondary market (be very careful with that option), and haven't ever regretted my decisions.
So, you know the show is happening, you're willing to spend money on tickets, and the next critical step (for any tough to get tickets) is advance planning, and the willingness to be flexible in your timing. Be ready to make quick decisions while you're making the purchase, especially if the site does not allow you to select seats yourself, but offers you the best available. I've learned the hard way that if you give up what they offered, thinking the next choice will be better, you will be disappointed. If tickets pop up, grab them. You might also consider breaking up your party to sit singly or in other combinations, rather than seating the entire group in a row. My friends and I often purchase single seats for the same performance to improve our seats, and potentially pay less. You won't be talking during the show anyway, so especially in the case of hard-to-get tickets, it may be the best way to go.
It is not often I can say this, but really, this show is great from anywhere in a theater. Not because every seat has a great view, some won't, but to borrow an overused line from the show, just being in the room where it happens is pretty darn great. If all you can get, because of price or availability, is the rear of rear balcony, take it. I've seen the show from close up, rear side orchestra and mezzanine, with multiple casts, and it's as good as you think it will be.
Currently, the Hamilton landscape has changed considerably with two sit-down productions in New York and Chicago (sit-down meaning no set end dates for the runs), a touring production starting in San Francisco in March '17, and a London production starting in November '17.
The London run is currently sold out through June '18 for the first booking period, but the theater is being renovated for the show, and future blocks of tickets will likely go on sale in the coming months. Keep checking the website, and, as they suggest, use Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on availability.
Closer to home, Chicago currently has tickets on sale for Sep '17 to Jan '18. Also, when I was checking the San Francisco run for a friend a couple of weeks ago, there was not a seat to be had for any performance. But now, various performances are showing limited availability. Mind you, some of the tickets are over $800 at regular price (close up orchestra), but there are seats. The future cities on the tour (Los Angeles is next) have not gone on sale yet, but you will probably want to sign up to be notified by email for any city that might be a possibility for you. I wasn't going to try for tickets in Chicago (despite having friends there, and wanting to visit), and the tickets sold out, so I figured it wasn't meant to be. But then they announced a cast member (Joshua Henry as Aaron Burr, who will be playing the role on tour!)) of whom I'm a huge fan, and on a whim, I checked again for tickets and found one! It was a single seat, and, as always, pricey, but regular price, no mark up. I guess it was meant to be after all :).
My understanding is that for some cities on the tour, ticket priority will be given to those who subscribe to the current season as well as the Hamilton season. Even if the show is not arriving in your city until 2018 or even 2019, check the theater website (not just the Hamilton website), or otherwise contact the theater for specifics. Another possibility in some cities may be opportunities if you're a member of an organization, such as a teachers' association, to purchase tickets through them.
No matter which location you're eyeing, and depending on your level of motivation, the theater may have a cancelation line for each performance. For Broadway, there is also a day-of digital ticket lottery (as there is for a number of other shows; check todaytix.com for the app that will help you). Hey, someone has to win, right?? And, believe it or not, I know of people who have walked up to the box office on Broadway for a same-day performance and tickets were available. Expensive (regular price, not marked up), but available. My mantra: if you don't ask, the answer's always no.
UPDATE: The San Francisco run has announced a digital lottery!
I've been continually impressed by the Hamilton show website. It is well designed, and has all the information and links you might need. That said, just checking the website probably isn't enough on its own; social media, signing up for email notifications, and trying for some plain old luck of the draw are only going to improve your odds.
p.s. Just fyi, the current hot ticket at The Public is Joan of Arc: Into the Fire, a new musical from David Byrne (Talking Heads; Here Lies Love), and directed by Alex Timbers (Broadway's Peter and the Starcatcher, Rocky, & Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon).