Work for 'all of us', ‘Hamilton' cast asks Vice President-elect
Vice President-elect Mike Pence was booed at a performance of award-winning Broadway musical "Hamilton", whose "alarmed and anxious" cast made an unusual call from the stage for the incoming Trump administration to work on behalf of all Americans. Donald Trump's right-hand man attended a performance late Friday of the hit musical about young colonial rebels who shaped the country whose founding fathers they would become.
The show's lead actor, Javier Munoz, is openly gay, HIV positive and a cancer survivor. Activists have worried that the incoming Trump administration will be hostile to gay rights. Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays former vice president Aaron Burr, read a statement to Pence during the curtain call that echoed some of the biggest concerns critics have voiced since Republican firebrand Trump was elected on November 8. And with that, a performance of a musical about the American Revolution and the dawn of a young nation became even more political.
Thanking Pence for attending the performance, Dixon asked him to "hear us out". "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," Dixon said. "But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us." The audience cheered and applauded loudly his comments. Dixon highlighted the fact that Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards in June, was performed by "a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds and orientations".
Audience goes 'nuts'
The New York Times reported that although Pence was leaving as Dixon began to read his statement from the stage, he stood in the hallway by the auditorium's entrance and heard the entire message. When he entered the theater earlier before the show, Pence was greeted with a mix of boos and cheers from the audience. The show celebrates diversity and immigrants' contribution to the nation. The audience gave a standing ovation at the line "immigrants we get the job done", theatergoer Christy Colburn wrote on Twitter. "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."
Trump has deployed polarizing rhetoric to describe immigrants, vowing to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and to ban Muslims from entering the US. And the bombastic billionaire real estate investor, who was showered with widespread condemnation from both within and outside his party after video emerged of him making lewd boasts of groping and forcing himself on women, has largely appointed older white men to major posts so far in his presidential transition.
Police remove protesters from the streets after they shouted slogans at Vice President-elect Mike Pence while he was leaving the Richard Rodgers Theatre after a performance of ‘Hamilton’ in New York on Friday, Nov 18, 2016.