On November 18, Vice President–elect Mike Pence did what a lot of tourists do on a Friday night in New York City: He went to Times Square, he walked into a theater, and took in a show.
That show happened to be Broadway's definitive smash, Hamilton, but this is where Pence's evening took a turn for the highly unusual: Not only did the audience boo him, and loudly, as soon as word started to make the rounds that he was there, but the reaction was so strong that it prompted the cast to address him directly with a sincere, passionate plea for understanding.
At curtain call, Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the production, shared a message on behalf of the entire Hamilton cast. The New York Times reports that creator (and the man who originated the titular character) Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, and lead producer Jeffrey Seller wrote the statement, and that the cast and crew contributed to it as well.
"You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening," Dixon began. "And, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, I see you're walking out, but I hope you will hear us." (The Times also reports that Pence did, in fact, hang out in the hallway to hear the entirety of Dixon's speech.)
There's nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen. There's nothing to boo here. We're all here sharing a story of love. We have a little message for you, sir, and we hope that you will hear us out. I urge everybody to pull out your phones, and tweet, and post, because this message needs to be spread far and wide, okay? Vice president–elect, 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 that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. Again, 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.
Donald Trump criticized the Hamilton cast for harassing and being "very rude" to Pence, and demanded an apology. Miranda felt differently, and stressed — as Dixon did — that everyone, including Pence, is welcome at Hamilton.