- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 19, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump demanded an apology from the Broadway cast of “Hamilton” on Saturday after its actors concluded a performance the previous night with a passionate plea aimed at particular member of the audience: Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Mr. Trump took to Twitter early Saturday to defend his number two in the wake of being singled-out by the cast of “Hamilton” while attending a performance of the widely acclaimed Broadway smash-hit musical Friday evening at the Richard Rodgers Theater in Manhattan.

“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

“The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” Mr. Trump tweeted moments later.

Video footage recorded during the Friday evening performance and shared by the musical’s official Twitter account shows actor Brandon Victor Dixon reading a statement directed toward Mr. Pence while flanked on stage by his co-stars at the curtain call following the end of the play.

“Vice President-elect Pence, I see you’re walking out, but I hope you will hear just a few more minutes,” Mr. Dixon said.

“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical,’” he continued. “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. We hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us.”

Mr. Pence’s attendance hadn’t gone unnoticed prior to being called out near the performance’s end, according to fellow theatergoers. Twitter user Noah Coslov, a managing editor for One Up Sports, said Mr. Pence entered the theatre to “a massive mix of cheers and boos.” Another Twitter user, Christy Colburn of Harvard’s global health program, claimed the crowd “booed him like crazy” at one point, and gave a standing ovation during a particular line in the play: “Immigrants, we get the job done.”

“Crowd went NUTS at King George’s lines ‘when people say they hate you’ & ‘do you know how hard it is to lead?’ He had to stop the song,” Ms. Colburn recalled on Twitter.

Jeffrey Sheller, the lead producer of “Hamilton” on Broadway, told the New York Times that he co-wrote the statement read by Mr. Dixon with the assistance of the play’s director, Thomas Kail, and its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York City decades ago.

“We had to ask ourselves, how do we cope with this?” Mr. Seller told the newspaper. “Our cast could barely go on stage the day after the election. The election was painful and crushing to all of us here. We all struggled with what was the appropriate and respectful and proper response. We are honored that Mr. Pence attended the show, and we had to use this opportunity to express our feelings.”


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