A musical based on an 832-page biography about the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton may not seem like a revolutionary idea. But Lin-Manuel Miranda’s inclusive vision – which cast actors of color to play America’s white founding fathers and set the story to hip-hop – is part of what made ‘Hamilton’ one of the most successful and important Broadway musicals in history.
“Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional,” Miranda told the New York Times.
More than a year later, with one of the most divisive and contentious presidential elections under our belt, ‘Hamilton’s vision of an inclusive, diverse America is more important than ever. And the cast made sure to say so when Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the musical in NYC last night, delivering a message to him and Donald Trump at the end of the show.
Standing before the assembled audience, Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, said, “Vice President Elect Pence, welcome. Thank you for joining us 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 and uphold our inalienable rights. We hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of ALL of us.”
According to the NY Times, the remarks were written by Lin-Manuel, as well as the the show’s director Thomas Kail, and its lead producer, Jeffrey Seller, with input from the cast.
The statement came after what was reportedly an extremely charged performance. According to users on Twitter, Pence was booed by the audience on entering the Richard Rodgers theater.
Meanwhile, the audience went wild and delivered standing ovations during lines like “Immigrants: we get the job done!” – a strong rebuke to the anti-immigrant platform of Trump’s administration.
Early this morning, Donald Trump took to Twitter to characterize the cast’s respectful statement as “harassment”, arguing that the theater should be a “safe and special space.”
Nonetheless, Thomas Seller, the lead producer for ‘Hamilton’, says Trump would be welcomed to attend the show.