The cast of “Hamilton” welcomed audiences in Puerto Rico on Friday, Jan. 11. The cast included Lin-Manuel Miranda as he reprised his title role that catapulted the actor to stardom. Theater critics called opening night an emotional performance as the people of Puerto Rico are still in recovery mode after Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017. The opening of “Hamilton” also included some harsh words by the country’s leader.
President Donald Trump criticized Democratic lawmakers for attending the opening of “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico during the country’s record-breaking government shutdown.
During an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, President Trump said that he was “working hard” in the White House while Democrats celebrated in Puerto Rico.
“Nancy Pelosi’s in Hawaii over the holidays…Now she’s in Puerto Rico with a bunch of Democrats and lobbyists enjoying the sun and partying down there,” Trump said on the show. Trump reiterated that point again during a press conference a couple days later in front of the White House.
“I’ve been here all weekend,” Trump said. “The Democrats are in Puerto Rico celebrating something. I don’t know, maybe celebrating the shutdown or something.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda responded to Trump by tweeting that he’s a compulsive liar a day after his partying claims.
CREDIT: @Lin_Manuel / Twitter
Miranda expressed why 36 Democratic lawmakers were invited to the opening weekend of “Hamilton” and said it was important for them to see Puerto Rico still needs help.
“I’m very proud to work with the Latino Victory Fund because you’re here to work, despite what anyone might claim,” Miranda said during a speech at the progressive organization’s summit, according to The Hill. “I know you all saw the blue tarps when your plane landed in Puerto Rico.” He also said, “We brought ‘Hamilton’ here to bring a spotlight to Puerto Rico.”
According to the publication, the blue tarps are temporary roof coverings that were provided to residents by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Proceeds from the Broadway show will go towards benefiting the Hispanic Federation, a Latino nonprofit, and Flamboyan Foundation, an educational program that helps children in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
This is not the first time Miranda and Trump have gone head-to-head.
CREDIT: @Lin_Manuel / Twitter
Miranda and the cast of “Hamilton” have never been fans of the Trump Administration. During a 2016 visit, soon after the presidential election, Vice President Pence attended a performance in New York City in which the the actors basically told him off.
“We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who played Vice President Aaron Burr, said after the performance. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
Trump didn’t like that Pence was called out. He responded to their words with this tweet: “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”
During a press conference after opening night in Puerto Rico, Miranda said, according to the Washington Post, “I just love the island so much, and I just want it to be proud of me.”