Vice President-elect Mike Pence has spent the last week and a half in New York City, helping guide Donald Trump’s transition to the White House. On Friday night, he decided to do what millions of out-of-towners have done while visiting the city. He took in a Broadway show.
It turned into an eventful evening at the theater.
Pence went to see “Hamilton,” the Broadway phenomenon about America’s Founding Fathers featuring a diverse cast that has won Tonys, Grammys, Pulitzers and MacArthur genius grants. After acquiring one of the hottest tickets in town, Pence was being seated in the orchestra section when the crowd
At the conclusion of the performance, Pence was exiting the theater when actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who portrays former Vice President Aaron Burr, delivered a statement to the vice president-elect.
“I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few more moments. There’s nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen,” Dixon said.
“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at “Hamilton: An American Musical” — we really do. We sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us.
“Again, we truly thank you for sharing in this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”
“The cast, the creators, we all felt that we must express our feelings to Vice President-elect Pence,”
During the show, theatergoers reported that certain verses elicited raucous responses from the crowd.
The reaction at a Broadway show is not surprising considering Pence’s stance on LGBT issues. As governor of Indiana, he signed into law a religious freedom act that was seen to allow discrimination against the LGBT community and that he was later forced to roll back.
“Hamilton” hosted several Democratic fundraisers over the course of the presidential campaign but has been attended by politicians across the political spectrum, from President Obama to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Not everyone approved of the response from the crowd, which on a Friday night was almost certainly a mix of tourists and New York residents. Two New York Times reporters and MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough were critical of those in attendance.