An audience disruption took place at the Saturday evening production of “Hamilton” at the PrivateBank Theatre in downtown Chicago.
According to audience member Brea Hayes of Batavia, who was at the performance, an audience member seated in the front of the balcony shouted profanities and election-related political statements after the cast sang the line, “Immigrants / We get the job done,” which is part of the show’s “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” number.
That lyric is among the most overtly political references in the show and generally gets a big reaction from the audience.
Tribune reporter Jodi Cohen, who was seated in the dress circle at the performance, said that the disruption from the man above lasted for two songs. Cohen also said that the “Hamilton” actors seemed strikingly somber during the bows at the end of the show.
Hayes said that the man appeared to be intoxicated, shouted “We won” among other things, and was resistant after being asked to leave. She said he finally was ushered out by Broadway in Chicago staffers.
Other audience members took to social media to describe the incident; there were reports of hostile exchanges between the patron and other audience members before he was removed. Broadway in Chicago has not commented on what happened at its theater.
John Palmer, 56, of the 100 block of East Illinois Street, was charged with misdemeanor trespass to land after he refused to leave when asked to by staff, according to police.
Palmer had caused a disturbance about 9:30 p.m. at a live theater performance in the first block of West Monroe Street, according to police spokesman Officer Kevin Quaid. When he refused to leave, he was detained by theater staff until police arrived, Quaid said.
“This is why we train,” said Karen Olivo, who plays Angelica in the Chicago cast, via Twitter on Sunday. “So when the obstacles come we conquer them with skill and precision.”
The situation in Chicago followed a Friday performance of
“Hamilton” in New York City attended by Vice President-elect Mike Pence. At the close of the show, a cast member read from a prepared statement that addressed Pence politely but directly.
In the hours that followed, President-elect Donald Trump made several criticisms of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, which can be seen in Chicago and New York and that became a political flashpoint over the weekend.
On Sunday morning, he tweeted that he had heard the show was “highly overrated.”