Today in truth is stranger than fiction: Shonda Rhimes once told Art Garfunkel to keep quiet during Hamilton.
The story comes from Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton star and Tony nominee, who told Jimmy Fallon on Friday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that he witnessed the argument between Rhimes and Garfunkel during a recent show.
Odom and his wife actually saw Hamilton as audience members — he was on vacation from the show at the time — and the couple was seated in what Odom called the “famous person section.”
“I didn’t know exactly who I was sitting around. My wife and I got there right before curtain, so you know you’re around people that matter,” Odom said, before explaining how a man who would later be revealed as Garfunkel was being a “little bit disruptive” during the show. Rhimes and her friends were seated in front of the singing legend.
“They were getting very agitated,” Odom said, explaining one of the women, who he later realized was Rhimes, kept turning around to tell Garfunkel to be quiet. “She said, ‘Stop talking. It’s not that difficult. You don’t talk in a show. Can you please stop talking?'”
Then at intermission, things came to a head. “Shonda Rhimes almost whooped Art Garfunkel’s ass,” Odom told Fallon.
“I’ve since talked to her about it: she flew her three best friends into town to see the show. Mr. Garfunkel, he was on some other stuff,” Odom added. “It almost went down.”