“I’ve seen the show three times, and I can’t wait to see it again,” he told the audience, predicting the Tony-winning musical will bring “millions of dollars of economic impact” to the area.
But Hamburger won’t be around when the show hits East Lansing Sept. 28.
The Lansing native and Michigan State University graduate is headed to Phoenix to be the director of marketing and communications at Arizona State University’s version of Wharton, Gammage, which provides music, dance and Broadway touring shows to a market of approximately 4 million.
“Of course, I’m sad to be leaving Wharton, which is one of the premier presenters in the country, and I’m sad to be leaving MSU, but this is an opportunity to work for a big Broadway market,” Hamburger said.
The 34-year-old Hamburger has been with Wharton for 15 years, first as a student “and, in the last 10 years, in a professional capacity,” he said.
For the past three years, Hamburger has also served as the co-chairman of the Broadway League’s Road Marketing Committee, which helped bring him to the attention of ASU, said Michael Reed, senior director of cultural participation and programming at Gammage.
“We’ve had a lot of contact with Victor at Broadway League national meetings,” Reed said. “In looking for a director of marketing, we sought out advice from very experienced colleagues in the field, and every single person we spoke to said Victor is a rising star in this industry. His ideas, his approaches, will be a good, fresh direction for us.”
It also helped that Hamburger comes from a large state university like ASU.
“He’s a consensus builder, an even-keel guy with a lot of experience,” Reed said. “He seems like the perfect fit at the right time, so we’re very happy he’s coming aboard.
"We’re also a mecca of golf here, and we’re looking forward to introducing Victor to some of our great courses.”
Reed added, with a chuckle, "Not that he'll have much time for that."
Hamburger is scheduled to start at ASU in early November.
“This is a big opportunity, but a big change, too,” Hamburger said. “I’m going to miss winter — and I actually enjoy winter.”