After the post-show curtain speech delivered at Vice-President-elect Mike Pence Friday night, many conservatives thought a boycott of the ground-breaking musical would be a great idea. It’s a natural reaction to what many non-Hillary-voters see as an insulting message delivered by the Hamilton cast that they are not welcome and are worthy of a condescending lecture if they show up at the theatre.
Believe me, behind the scenes the powers that be on Broadway are very concerned about the fall-out.
Let me be clear, the #BoycottHamilton movement is of no concern to the producers of this blockbuster. They are basically printing “Hamiltons” (or more accurately “Benjamins”) in the basement of the Richard Rogers Theatre right now and they will be for a decade.
But theatre as an industry relies on New York tourism and the income that comes with it. These tourists come from states that voted for Donald Trump as well as Hillary Clinton. The last thing Broadway wants to do is alienate these voters heading into the lucrative holiday season.
In fact, as soon as Broadway hits the post-holiday month of January, multiple shows will be shuttering on the Great White Way, even before this latest audience-killing episode. Don’t get me wrong, Broadway is healthy and thriving, but this episode does nothing to help non-Hamilton style shows that are on the bubble and need tourist dollars to survive.
Look for the industry to try to get out in front of this episode in the coming days if it doesn’t fade away. The unholy co-mingling of the insatiable appetite of the mainstream media and an actor’s unquenchable desire for attention probably means this story will stay with us though. Why else would an actor appearing in a sold-out production wake up early on his day off to appear on CBS News?
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) November 21, 2016
Indeed, the show’s creator has been surprisingly mum about the incident on his very active Twitter feed. He delivered this message of support tagged with the all important “don’t stop buying tickets” coda:
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 19, 2016
Why has the usually verbose and active writer/composer/actor been somewhat mum about his play being thrust into the post-election hysteria? To paraphrase Michael Jordan, “Republicans buy tickets too.”
And this isn’t just about high-price theatre tickets. You see, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the savant-like genius behind Hamilton is set to open a brand new animated film this week. A Disney film.
Ya think Disney wants to stay out of this discussion? Um, yeah.