‘We, sir, are the diverse America’: Broadway’s Hamilton cast addresses Mike Pence at performance

President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday demanded an apology from the cast member of the Broadway production Hamilton who gave Mike Pence an onstage earful about equality.

Actor Brandon Victor Dixon told vice-president-elect Pence after the curtain call that the multiracial and multicultural cast is concerned about the Trump administration.

“We, sir, 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,” said Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice-president.

‘We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values’
– Brandon Victor Dixon, Hamilton musical

 “We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”

Pence, a Republican, ducked out before Dixon finished the unprecedented message, but heard the full remarks from the hallway outside the auditorium.

“Vice-president-elect Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few more moments. There’s nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen,” Dixon said.

“We’re all here sharing a story about love.”

Trump tweeted Saturday that Pence was “harassed last night at the theatre by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.”

“The theatre must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”

Dixon responded to Trump on Twitter, saying “conversation is not harassment sir” while adding that he appreciates Pence stopping to listen.

The atmosphere was tense from the time the vice-president-elect arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, triggering both cheers and boos as he slipped into row F in the prime orchestra seats. After the curtain-call, Dixon called Pence out from the stage, with the cast behind him.

The actor encouraged the audience to film and tweet so the cast’s message could be spread “far and wide.”

Outside, many protesters jeered, including one woman who held up a sign with a line from the musical that always gets a cheer: “Immigrants, we get the job done.”

Dixon’s speech, which ended with a plea to donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, brought down the house.

Mike Pence Hamilton

Heavily armed police stand guard as a motorcade carrying Vice President-elect Mike Pence, centre, leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York after a performance of Hamilton. (Andres Kudacki/The Associated Press)

Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards, has been praised by politicians and rap stars alike. The story of the U.S.’s first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, it raised a debate over the nation’s currency and burst through the Broadway bubble like none other.

The first family has been big boosters of the show. President Barack Obama took daughters Sasha and Malia to see it last year after First Lady Michelle Obama caught it last spring. Pence’s predecessor, Vice-President Joe Biden, also has seen it.

The show is by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical’s book, music and lyrics. It stresses the orphan, immigrant roots of Hamilton and has a terrifically varied score, ranging from pop ballads to gospel to sexy RB.

Miranda tweeted his support Saturday of the cast’s decision.

It has been cheered for reclaiming the nation’s founding story by a multicultural cast. The Alexander Hamilton that Pence saw was Javier Munoz, an openly gay actor.

Pence supported numerous efforts to ban gay marriage as governor of Indiana and opposed unfettered federal funding for HIV and AIDS treatment.

After Pence left, Jeffrey Seller, the show’s lead producer, said he hopes the politician would share the show’s message of empathy: “I hope that maybe it inspires him to feel for those not like him.”


Hamilton tells the story of an orphaned immigrant from the Caribbean who ended up becoming the first U.S. treasury secretary. Lin-Manuel Miranda, seen here as the lead, created and wrote the musical but has since vacated the role. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theatre)

Seller, a Tony Award winner who has produced such shows as Rent and Avenue Q, said such notable Republicans as former vice-president Dick Cheney and presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan have come to Hamilton.

“This show is absolutely for Republicans as well as Democrats, and we would like to host any Republican who would like to see the show,” he said. 

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