Hamilton: The Pence Perspective

My Kindle Fire this morning brought up a story on the Washington Post about Vice-President-elect Pence attending Hamilton: The Musical last night, and the reaction he received. Above you see a video taken by someone in the audience of the appeal made to Pence by the cast during their curtain call (Note: Had to replace above video with a news broadcast one that will now embed, because the other account was deleted for some reason)

Questions have arisen today whether this curtain call appeal was appropriate or rude. President-elect Trump has called it rude and asked for an apology. Others call it the best piece of political theater.

My reactions are actually different. From other things I have seen and read of the evening, the audience booed Pence on his arrival, and even booed at him during various scenes of the show. That is the part I consider rude. If I was attending the show, wanting to watch, to have people use the performance as a way to make a political statement to someone attending, and thus detract from the show I have purchased and paid good money for, that is the really rude part. If the show itself was encouraging this, I would be prone to ask for my money back, or at least a discount on my ticket, for not delivering what I paid good money for (and those tickets go close to $1K I understand from other comments on the show).

Now, the other rude part was Pence himself. Perhaps there was a legitimate security reason for him to be leaving during the curtain call, but everything I have heard about proper theater etiquette has one staying in place until the curtain call is done.

The one thing I don’t think was rude was the cast itself during the curtain call. The words in the above video, and the tenor of the sentiment, was all about respect and conciliation. Sure, there was a sense of right in their own position, but there wasn’t condemnation of Pence, only an expressed concern, and a request to have those concerns allayed. The cast even asked people not to boo Pence while they were making their appeal.

There is a lot more context to this story that I have had the chance to see, and my impressions of the scenes are based on my own opinions, along with the way the scenes I have seen have been cut and edited to give particular impressions. So if there is something crucial I have missed, I would be glad for people to elucidate those for me here in the comments.

That said, to summarize, I see nothing rude about the casts comments, or the way they were done. I do think the audience was rude in their boos, and I have a tentative concern that Pence’s leaving itself was rude, unless there is some security reason that I am not aware of that caused it.

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