'We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us'
Mike Pence attended the Tony-winning Broadway musical Hamilton on Friday night, and based on the reaction from the cast and the crowd, the vice president-elect was about as popular as King George.
Aaron Burr actor Brandon Victor Dixon read a statement to Pence during the curtain call. “We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out,” he said. “Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do. 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 to work on behalf of all of us, all of us. … We truly thank you for sharing this show — this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women, of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”
The statement followed a raucous performance during which the performers had to pause repeatedly for standing ovations after delivering pointed lines.
The politically charged atmosphere began to build earlier in the evening. When Pence took his seat at New York City’s Richard Rodgers Theatre earlier in the evening, he was met with a chorus of boos, peppered with some applause.
The audience members weren’t the only ones reacting to Pence’s presence. King George III, played by Rory O’Malley, reportedly sang portions of “What Comes Next?” directly at Pence and had to pause the song for a standing ovation after he sang the words, “When your people say they hate you.”
The audience also erupted in applause during “Yorktown,” in which Javier Munoz’s Alexander Hamilton and Seth Stewart’s Marquis de Lafayette sang, “Immigrants: We get the job done.”
Pence’s running mate, President-elect Donald Trump, promised during his campaign to implement extreme anti-immigration policies, including building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and banning Muslim people from entering the country.
And Pence, the outgoing governor of Indiana, has pushed for anti-LGBT policies, including advocating to divert funding away from HIV/AIDS treatment programs to groups that provide conversion therapy — a practice that has been widely condemned by medical and mental health experts as harmful. He also signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which initially allowed businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian customers before it was later amended.
The Hamilton cast is famously diverse by design. “Hamilton is a story very deliberately told to reflect what America looks like right now. We have every color represented,” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said earlier this year. And current Hamilton star Javier Munoz is an openly gay man who has lived with HIV since 2002. Miranda and the production have been outspoken during the election, holding voter registration drives and participating in Democratic fundraisers.
See a collection of tweets from Friday night’s performance below.