Pence Greeted With Boos, Cheers at 'Hamilton' MusicalNov. 19, 201601:39
Vice President-elect Mike Pence took in a performance of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" on Friday night, and ended up becoming part of the show when the cast delivered an impassioned message to him during curtain call.
Theatergoers quickly began tweeting about seeing Pence — who was joined by his daughter Charlotte and his nieces and nephew — with some claiming "the entire theater just booed him" while others posted video showing more mixed reactions.
Word also made its way to the show's cast who didn't miss their shot at addressing Pence directly while taking their final bows.
"Vice President-elect Pence, I see you're walking out, but I hope you will hear just a few more minutes," actor Brandon Victor Dixon — who plays Aaron Burr in the show — called out.
Pence had begun to leave the theater, but turned and stopped to listen to Dixon’s nearly two-minute address, according to people in the crowd.
"We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our friends, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights," Dixon said, reading off a piece of paper. "But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us."
"We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds and orientation," Dixon said.
"We don't have to agree, but we have to live here," Dixon finished to boisterous cheers from the crowd.
"Hamilton" has received raves not only for its story and music, but for its diverse casting, including a Latino actor in the title role. Show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and cast members even recorded a series of PSAs urging Latinos to vote in the election.
President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a vow to deport millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and Trump's transition team — led by Pence — is filled with hardline anti-immigration advocates.
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This juxtaposition was not lost on audience members, who told NBC News there was a distinct energy throughout Friday night's show.
The crowd hollered during the song "What Comes Next" when King George sang thhe lines: "When your people say they hate you. Don’t come crawling back to me” and "Do you know how hard it is to lead?"
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The actor playing King George stopped singing during the ballad for about 20 to 30 seconds as the crowd — seemingly taking the lines more literally during the current political climate — roared, Christy Colburn, a theatergoer from Boston, told NBC News.
Similarly, she said the crowd went "nuts" during the line: "Immigrants, we get the job done" during an exchange between Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette.
Others were quick to point out the irony of Pence — who has been called "notoriously anti-LGBTQ" and has suggested that HIV funding would be better spent on anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy — enjoying a show starring an openly gay and HIV-positive man in the title role.
Pence’s presence was “definitely the topic of conversation” among theatergoers during intermission and after the show, Colburn said.
Trump tweeted about the incident on Saturday morning, saying that Pence "was harassed ... by the cast of 'Hamilton,'" adding "this should not happen!"
Dixon replied on Twitter, saying: "Conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen."