Mike Pence was met with a chorus of boos when he attended a performance of Hamilton on Friday night, and video from the performance shows the pointed message the musical’s cast delivered to the vice president-elect at the curtain call.
Pence made the unannounced visit to the hit musical on Friday, arriving in a motorcade with Secret Service officers that included an armed guard outside the Richard Rogers Theatre on Broadway. But the controversial vice president-elect, who has come under fire for supporting anti-gay policies while governor of Indiana, received anything but a warm welcome.
Those attending Hamilton on Friday said the actors had to pause several times as the audience booed Mike Pence, and the actors appeared to deliver some of the lines directly to the vice president-elect, Entertainment Weekly noted. At one point, actor Rory O’Malley was performing the song “What Comes Next?” as his character King George III and stopped for a standing ovation at the line, “When your people say they hate you.”
Another ovation came during the song “Yorktown,” when the actors playing Alexander Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette sang, “Immigrants: We get the job done.” This appeared to be a direct rebuke to the hard-line stance the Donald Trump administration has taken on immigration, promising both mass deportations as well as a ban on Muslim immigrants from entering the country.
But the most direct message came during the curtain call, when actor Brandon Victor Dixon (who plays the eventually despised Vice President Aaron Burr) called on Mike Pence to learn from the lessons in the musical.
“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.”
Video of the Hamilton cast’s message to Mike Pence can be seen below.
That was not the only footage of the vice president-elect’s visit to Hamilton to go viral on Friday night. Other audience members shared video of Mike Pence being booed as he took his seat before Hamilton began.
Mike Pence has been criticized for his stances on LGBT issues, including his support of conversion therapy for gay people. Pence also came under fire for his opposition to a needle-exchange program in a poor county facing an HIV epidemic in Indiana.
As the New York Times noted, Pence remained opposed even amid growing pleas from public health advocates, and spent several days praying before finally coming to the decision to institute a needle-exchange program.
So many noted the irony that the actor playing founding father Alexander Hamilton is openly gay and HIV-positive.
The protests were not only inside the theater. Pence was also met with resistance outside the theater, with a small crowd forming that included some demonstrators calling out Pence’s past discrimination toward gays in Indiana.
Some others disagreed with the Hamilton audience booing Mike Pence, saying the jeers were out of place.
But Mike Pence may not have been there to hear the message from the Hamilton cast. After the chorus of boos, some people in attendance noted that he left the play early.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]