During Friday night’s (Nov. 18) curtain call at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Hamilton’s actors addressed the presence of the vice president-elect, who was heavily booed by the audience upon entry.
“Vice president-elect, I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us.,” said Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr. “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.”
Dixon also told the audience not to boo Pence and fellow Trump supporters. “We don’t have to agree, but we have to live here.”
With a slew of security stationed outside and handful of ushers bringing him to his seat, the show went on without interruption, but Rory O’Malley subtly addressed his presence during the show “What Comes Next,” gesturing toward his seat during the line, “You’re all alone.”
As King George, he stopped the show with his lines “it’s harder when it’s your call.” And then moments later with, “And when people say they hate you … don’t come crawling back to me.”
Pence watched from the center of the house, with security guards also seated nearby.
“Everyone’s looking for a distraction, and he shows up!” said one ticketholder. “I give the actors credit for pulling it together and keeping the show going.” Another added, “He’s sitting so close to me: my blood started boiling when I saw him. But I won’t let it ruin the show.”
Because Pence was in the audience, many lines landed quite differently.
Pence left the house during intermission and wasn’t escorted back to his seat until after intermission ended, during the middle of “What’d I Miss?”
George Washington’s line “Winning is easy, young man, governing’s harder” got notable applause. Another lyric that got applause: Alexander Hamilton’s jab about then-vice president, “John Adams doesn’t have a real job anyway.”
A big gasp of the night came when Washington hailed Hamilton over at the end of “Cabinet Battle #2,” when Thomas Jefferson notes, “Daddy’s calling,” as audience members found themselves thinking of Pence’s relationship to Donald Trump.
Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton production have participated in multiple Democratic fundraisers throughout the presidential election season, and held weekly voter registration drives outside the theater.
Pence is known for his anti-gay legislation, which was criticized by several fans and theatergoers as they learned he was attending the show. Both O’Malley, who plays King George, and Javier Munoz, who now plays Hamilton, are openly gay and involved in LGBT advocacy.
As governor of Indiana, Pence opposed gay marriage, signing into law a bill that made it legal for business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers, citing religious freedom. He is also known for supporting “conversion therapy.”
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— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) November 19, 2016
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.