Video: Hamilton actor issues plea from stage to vice president elect Mike Pence
EXIT pursued by… a Hamilton actor’s message of tolerance? This was how vice-president-elect Mike Pence’s evening out ended, anyway.
Pence was a member of the audience at a showing of Hamilton: An American Musical, but before he could leave the building Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, had a few words to say.
“You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening,” said Dixon after the performance.
“And vice-president-elect Pence, I see you’re walking out but I hope you will hear us.”
Dixon calmed the audience, saying “There’s nothing to boo here ladies and gentlemen” before thanking Pence for attending the show.
He continued by voicing concern that Donald Trump’s new administration would not protect the diversity of America, saying: “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday demanded an apology from the cast member who gave Mr Pence an onstage earful about equality.
Mr Pence, a Republican, ducked out before Dixon finished the unprecedented message but heard the full remarks from the hallway outside the auditorium.
"Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing," Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday.
"The theater 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!"
The atmosphere was tense from the time the vice president-elect arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, triggering both cheers and boos as he slipped into row F in the prime orchestra seats.
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.
Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards, has been praised by politicians and rap stars alike, influenced the 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 saw it last spring. Mr 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 R&B. It has been cheered for reclaiming the nation's founding story by a multi-cultural cast.
The Alexander Hamilton that Mr Pence saw was Javier Munoz, an openly gay actor.
Mr Pence supported numerous efforts to ban gay marriage as governor of Indiana and opposed unfettered federal funding for HIV and Aids treatment.
After Mr 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."
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.