(The WashingtonPost) –The cast of “Hamilton” delivered a message to Vice President-elect Mike Pence from stage after he watched the show at Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York on Nov. 18. Pence was booed by some audience members when he first walked in. (Twitter/Hamilton via Storyful)
After Friday evening’s performance, at which Vice President-elect Mike Pence was in the audience, several dozen of the Broadway musical’s cast members zeroed in on Pence during their curtain call. Brandon Victor Dixon — the actor who played Aaron Burr — stepped forth and cut through the applause.
“You know, we have a guest in the audience this evening,” he said to audience laughter. “And Vice President-elect Pence, 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. There’s nothing to boo here. We’re all here sharing a story of love. We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out.”
As he pulled a small piece of paper from his pocket, Dixon encouraged people to record and share what he was about to say “because this message needs to be spread far and wide.”
“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do,” Dixon said to further applause. “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 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 truly for (sharing) this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”
Some audience members booed Vice President-elect Mike Pence got as he walked to his seat at a “Hamilton” show, held at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York on Nov. 18. (Storyful)
Pence reportedly left the auditorium before Dixon finished speaking, but a show spokesman told the Associated Press that the vice president-elect stood in the hallway and heard the full message.
The unusual address quickly went viral and drew not one but two tweets from President-elect Donald Trump, who demanded the next morning that the cast apologize.
“Hamilton,” a musical about the rise of former treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton from his humble beginnings as an orphan and an immigrant, has a famously diverse cast. One of its oft-touted lyrics — “Immigrants, we get the job done” — appeared on a sign just outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Friday night, where dozens had gathered to protest Pence.
Twitter exploded late Friday night with responses that cleaved into two camps: Those who cheered the cast for voicing their concerns so directly and those who found the exchange “rude.” In the latter was Trump, who said that the cast had “harassed” Pence with “cameras blazing.”
By Amy B Wang