The Cast of Hamilton Sends a Strong Message to Mike Pence (After the Crowd Jeers Him)

When Mike Pence entered the Richard Rodgers Theatre to see Hamilton Friday night, the crowd booed him.

When the play ended, the cast sent Pence off with a special message. Speaking for the cast, Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who plays Aaron Burr, said this:

You know we have a guest in the audience this evening. Vice President-elect Pence I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us just a few more moments.

There is nothing to boo here ladies and gentlemen, we are all sharing a story of love. We have a message for you sir, and we hope you will hear us out…

Vice President-elect Mike Pence we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton, an American Musical.

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 or 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.

We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.

Trump and Pence came to office exploiting racial, national and ethnic resentments across America. They’re now putting figures like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions (both tarnished by allegations of racism) in positions of power. And we’re seeing hate crimes on the rise. (701  reported cases since the election.) It’s no surprise that the new government is getting taken to task. It’s free speech in action, democracy being the sometimes raucous, in your face thing it can be.

Fortunately Pence seems to have a finer appreciation of the role dissent plays in our country: He has since told The Hollywood Reporter, “I did hear what was said from the stage, and I can tell you, I wasn’t offended by what was said.” “It was a real joy to be there. When we arrived, we heard a few boos and a few cheers, and I nudged my kids and reminded them, ‘That’s what freedom sounds like.” Kudos to him.

In other culture/education news, Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle his Trump University fraud case.

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Comments (22)
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  • Gini Vyborney says:

    This post on “Hamilton” is an example of why I subscribe to Open Culture. Thank you for posting the video; we need hope in these troubling times.

  • julian kaye says:

    Jeering is uncultured, get a life.

  • Dan Colman says:

    CJ and Peter.

    Really, it’s improper for us to cover an event at the most acclaimed play in a decade, and one that focuses on American history no less?

    Yes we will highlight events like this. And we’ll continue to cover more esoteric things. It has always been this way. And it won’t change. Feel free to make whatever decisions you need to make.

    Thanks
    Dan (editor)

  • PeterK says:

    sorry but I don’t come to Open Culture for political diatribes. start another blog for that

  • Peterk says:

    this in the year i’ve been following Open Culture is the first overt politically biased posting that I can remember

  • Angel Melendez says:

    It’s amazing how the left politicizes everything. I thought this was a site about culture and not about radical left leaning politics. YOU LOST! DEAL WITH IT!!! Btw, the only hate crimes I’ve seen is that of the “tolerant” left beating up on Trump supporters. Bye, I’m out of here for good.

  • Susan Walls says:

    Trump and Pence are “tarnished by allegations….” Unlike Hillary, of course, who apparently isn’t tarnished at all by not *allegations*, but *proof* of criminal activity (Project Veritas, Benghazi, the aptly-named “Clinton Foundation”). I’m sure, however, that we’ll get some GREAT Closed Culture links and commentary on those scandals any day now….

  • Mike Overly says:

    Dan,

    Whether you want to accknowledge it or not, yes, you have changed. And no, it’s not improper for you to cover an event, however, I can read this type of coverage on CNN. Get back to presenting the unbias views of “more esoteric things” like you use to.

    Sincerely,
    Mike

    • Dan Colman says:

      Sorry Mike, it’s our call, not yours. When seats on the editorial board open up, we’ll let you know.

      In the meantime, feel free to go elsewhere for the esoteric stuff that shies away from having an opinion.

      Best of luck,
      Dan

  • Mike Harrop says:

    Please spontaneously post any crap you want… it’s all human, all interesting… so tired of the monolateral tunnelspeak spewed ad nauseam by the US intelligentsia these days. God, we used to admire it !

  • JC says:

    Dan,

    Keep up the great content!

    -JC

  • Colin Wills says:

    Please do so sir!

  • Colin Wills says:

    That would depend entirely on your definition of culture. I suspect your’s is quite restrictive :)

  • Colin Wills says:

    The Left? Where the dear folk of the USA got the idea that the Democrats are remotely “Left” has always confused me. Here in NZ they would be some distance to the right of our governing National Party. The local Tories.

  • Bill G says:

    I flipped into the comments expecting to see a thoughtful conversation about what happened at Hamilton. Instead I found a lot of presumptuous readers telling Open Culture how to manage their affairs. When Hamilton sends a message to Pence, it seems like the debate should be about the message Hamilton sent to Pence. The comments I read here seem like an unintelligent way of shutting down what could be a richer conversation.

    That’s just my take.

    Bill

  • Mark Brinton says:

    What would have the reaction been if Ann and Nancy Wilson had called out audience member President Obama on, say, drone warfare right after they finished performing “Stairway To Heaven” at the Kennedy Center?

    • Dan Colman says:

      Mark,

      I’ll let others talk about what the reaction would have been. But I do know this, we would have posted the video, just like we did here. You can bank on that.

      Thanks,
      Dan (editor)

  • Ronny says:

    Great article. Not all readers are American, so would not be reading about such occurrences on ‘CNN’. Thank you for the post.

  • Dan Colman says:

    It’s worth noting Pence’s reaction to the event:

    “It was a real joy to be there. When we arrived, we heard a few boos and a few cheers, and I nudged my kids and reminded them, ‘That’s what freedom sounds like,'” Pence said of the audience reaction.

    “I did hear what was said from the stage, and I can tell you, I wasn’t offended by what was said,” he further explained, calling it “an incredible production” with “incredibly talented people.”

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mike-pence-not-offended-by-hamilton-statement-949139

    A dignified response.

    Dan

  • Michael says:

    I find the behaviour of the cast uncivilized. There’s a time for everything and this wasn’t it.

    And: I wonder how many of the people who are appalled by the result of the presidential electian actually voted.

  • H. Douglas Stead says:

    Nothing new as culture is diverse and evolving. We can only view and appreciate our part within our culture through the introspective hard looking into a mirror and seing who is looking back..

    As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII, by William Shakespeare

    JAQUES:

    A fool, a fool! I met a fool i’ the forest,
    A motley fool; a miserable world!

    ………………..

    DUKE SENIOR

    Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
    This wide and universal theatre
    Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
    Wherein we play in.

    JAQUES

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
    And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

    Cheers, Doug Stead

    Perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, victims: we can be clear about three of these categories. The bystanders, however, act as a fulcrum and “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing”. If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem! With apologies to Edmund Burke (1729 ~ 1797).

  • Martha Heiden says:

    Dan, I love you!

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