Attendees at last Thursday’s performance of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Come From Away were in for a very special surprise: joining them in the audience that night was none other than former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Come From Away musicalizes the true story of the roughly 7,000 passengers aboard planes that were rerouted as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack, only to be grounded together in the remote town of Gander, Newfoundland. The show’s director, Christopher Ashley, took home the Tony earlier this month for Best Direction of a Musical. The show also received six other nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Lighting, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role.
The musical’s co-writer, David Hein, took to Facebook to recount the event, praising Clinton, who attended the evening performance with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea.
Hein admits that he hadn’t cried during the show in a long time, but Hillary’s presence brought him to tears — particularly as Tony-nominated cast member Jenn Colella sang “Me and the Sky,” a song “about women breaking class ceilings,” directly at the former presidential nominee.
Following the performance, the Clintons took pictures with the cast on stage and shared 9/11 stories. Hein closes out his post saying, “So honored to have this story of Newfoundland kindness recognized and celebrated by them.”
The audience, for their part, gave Clinton a standing ovation, filling the Schoenfeld Theatre with cheers and applause, a moment many captured and shared on social media:
This, of course, is not the first time a politician has visited Broadway. Last November, then Vice President-elect Mike Pence caused a stir at a performance of the breakout phenomenon Hamilton. His reception was quite chilly in comparison: theatergoers booed the VP, and the performance concluded with an off-the-cuff speech on post-election anxiety and the importance of diversity from cast member Brandon Victor Dixon.