While Vice President-elect Mike Pence was greeted by the sounds of freedom (scattered booing) at Hamilton back in November, the audience of The Color Purple reacted quite differently to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During the final performance of the Broadway musical, HRC, her husband Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea were greeted with an ovation from the crowd and several rounds of cheering. According to the New York Times, the clapping erupted again after the show when actress Patrice Covington pointed to Clinton during the the cast’s farewell speech. “There’s a lot of really awesome famous and notable people here today,” Covington told the crowd. “I’m not going to call all of them out — I know you already know them.” When the Broadway star looked over to Clinton many yelled enthusiastic words of encouragement.
This was a rare appearance from the former Democratic presidential candidate, who has spent the months since the election mostly sticking to the woods near her house in Chappaqua, New York, and popping up on Instagram in small bookstores. Sunday’s matinee of The Color Purple was the final chance for her, and the world, to see this production on Broadway. Other celebrities in attendance included Jonathan Groff, Leslie Odom Jr., and Debra Messing. On the streets after the show, however, none received as much attention as the Clintons. Audience member Jordan Serpone told told the Times, “I was having every emotion I’ve tried to get rid of over the past few weeks.” He continued, “She shouldn’t be here. She should be planning her cabinet.”