Obama gives standing ovation during Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’

By Stephanie Pagones, Kevin Fasick and Amber Jamieson

President Obama gave a standing ovation to another Washington bigwig Saturday — Alexander Hamilton.

The president attended “Hamilton” at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre with daughters Malia and Sasha, clapping, smiling and looking like the tourist in chief throughout the award-winning show.

Obama’s entrance just before the matinee curtain sent loud gasps through the darkened house.

“Mr. President!” audience members called out, cellphone cameras flashing, as he and his entourage were ushered by flashlight to their aisle seats near the stage.

“God bless Obama!” one called out.

Composer and librettist Lin-Manuel Miranda’s show, which is still in previews, is a hip-hop-infused retelling of the life and death of Hamilton, America’s founding banker in chief — who also happened to found The New York Post in 1801.

It’s a story the president himself might relate to.

In the opening number, Aaron Burr — played by Leslie Odom Jr. — raps urgently:

“The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father/Got a lot farther/by workin’ a lot harder/by being a lot smarter/by bein’ a self-starter.”

The president’s presence was not announced on stage, but gave added resonance to the show.

Audience members laughed when the character portraying George Washington noted that he “cannot be everywhere at once, people!”

They laughed again when the character playing Thomas Jefferson boasted, “I can change that, because I’m the president.”

Miranda hadn’t been scheduled to perform in the Saturday matinee, so he instead watched from a seat in the orchestra. Miranda had performed the show’s opening number, “Alexander Hamilton,” for the president and first lady six years ago, at the first White House Poetry Jam.

Obama left with a wave to his fellow theater-goers, and without taking reporters’ questions — including whether he will now veto the Treasury Department’s decision to remove Hamilton’s likeness from the $10 bill.

Earlier Saturday, the president’s same entourage — the girls and two of their pals, plus his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her husband — visited Central Park, strolling near the ballfields south of Sheep Meadow.

Just before the show, they lunched with friends at the trendy Upland in Gramercy Park.

The group and attendant security and staff zipped through the city in a motorcade of more than 30 vehicles.

Michelle sat out the visit to NYC, letting her husband enjoy some quality time with the girls.

Additional reporting by Laura Italiano.

This article was originally published in the New York Post on July 19, 2015.


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