Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended Friday a performance of the Broadway show Hamilton and theatergoers welcomed him with a mix of applause and boos. Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that the cast owed Pence an apology for having been rude to him, but videos posted on Twitter by members of the audience show Brandon Victor Dixon, who played Aaron Burr, delivering a respectful statement to Pence on behalf of the cast at the end of the show.
The cast actually asked the audience to stop booing and reminded them they were all there to share a story of love. The musical has a very diverse cast that includes actors who come from immigrant families or are part of the LGBTW community. In fact, a gay and HIV-positive man stars in the title role. In contrast, Pence has openly said that HIV funding should be spent on anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy, according to NBC News.
Although the cast members feel threatened by the coming administration, which is known for its lack of sensibility about minorities, Dixon thanked Pence for attending and asked him to hear what he had to say.
“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,” Dixon said while reading a statement written by the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
Dixon thanked Pence again for seeing the show and proudly said it was performed by men and women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.
Lead producer Jeffrey Seller said he, show’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail and cast members contributed to the statement, as reported by The New York Times. Audience members broke out in applause and cheers at the end of the statement. Pence had started to walk out but accepted Dixon’s request to stop and listen.
Seller noted that it had been extremely difficult for the cast to go on stage the day after the election, which was “painful and crushing” to all of them, according to The Times report. When they learned that Pence was going to attend the show last night, they discussed whether it was best to address the issue publicly. Those involved decided they had to use that opportunity to express their feelings respectfully. Seller added that Trump was “welcome to attend.”
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) November 19, 2016
However, it seems highly unlikely that the president-elect will see the show in the near future. He took on Twitter to demand an apology from the cast after they allegedly harassed Pence in a place that “must always be safe and special.”
Dixon respectfully responded by saying conversation had nothing to do with harassment and reiterated that he was thankful that the coming Vice-president accepted to stop to listen to the statement.
Christopher Jackson, who created the character the musical’s George Washington, was more direct in his response on Twitter as he addressed Trump’s divisive speech throughout his presidential campaign.
“The countless Americans that have been Insulted, Degraded, Marginalized, Harassed, Intimidated. APOLOGIZE for that! APOLOGIZE for your HATE!” Jackson tweeted.
The musical that tells the reimagined story of Hamilton and the historic duel between him and Vice President Burr in 1804. The show debuted on Broadway last August and won 11 Tony Awards in June. Tickets are expensive and very difficult to obtain.
Hamilton has become one of the most acclaimed Broadway musicals and is particularly beloved by liberals because it celebrates America as a nation of immigrants. In fact, the leading roles such as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are played by Hispanic or black actors.
Source: New York Times