The New York Times – In many ways she is the typical Broadway audience member: a woman of a certain age, affluent and highly educated, living in suburban New York.
But there’s one big difference: She was almost president of the United States.
In the weeks since losing the election, Hillary Clinton has gone to four Broadway shows — often enough that industry wags joke about making her a Tony voter. And she’s even been spotted at theater district haunts — last week, just before seeing a revival of “Sunset Boulevard,” she had dinner at Orso with Kate McKinnon, the “Saturday Night Live” cast member who memorably portrayed her during the campaign.
At each theater appearance, Mrs. Clinton is greeted as a vanquished hero — standing ovations, selfies, shouted adulation.
The reception, of course, is in striking contrast with that received by Mike Pence, then the vice president-elect, when he attended “Hamilton” in November. He was greeted by a smattering of boos and then addressed from the stage by an actor who said cast members were “alarmed and anxious” about the incoming administration.
Mrs. Clinton has been attending Broadway shows for years, often when she has had a personal connection to an artist, a producer, or to a show’s subject matter.
In 2003, while a New York senator, she showed up at “Avenue Q.” (The show’s director, Jason Moore, is from Arkansas.) In the years since, she has been to “Henry IV,” “South Pacific,” “The Last Ship,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” “The King and I,” “An American in Paris” and “The Audience” (the last starring Helen Mirren as another powerful woman, Queen Elizabeth).
“She’s always been a strong supporter of the arts, so it doesn’t surprise me that she’d want to spend her time this way,” said Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theater Wing. “The theater community is grateful for her presence.”
Some visits have been especially memorable. In 2015, a few days before Mrs. Clinton declared her candidacy for president, she showed up at “Matilda the Musical” (about a fierce and smart young girl overcoming considerable obstacles) and was singled out during an audience participation segment. She raised her hand as someone who loves books, and was teased for her passion by an actor singing about the virtues of television.
Mrs. Clinton did not respond to requests for comment, but the theater community has had plenty to say. “I hope I write a play that goes to Broadway so Hillary Clinton can see it,” one playwright, Jaclyn Backhaus (“Men on Boats”), tweeted.
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