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Hamilton, the Ontario city, is being mistaken for Hamilton, the musical
By
Del Cowie

Published

November 21, 2016

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In the wake of a cast member from the critically acclaimed, Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton speaking to U.S. vice president elect Mike Pence at the end of Friday night's performance, the Ontario city of Hamilton has been unexpectedly pulled into a social media controversy.

U.S. vice president-elect Mike Pence attended the performance of Hamilton and was booed by some patrons as he entered the Richard Rodgers Theater in Manhattan where Hamilton is currently staged. After the performance of the show, actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the musical, read a letter to Pence.

"We, sir, 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 unalienable rights, sir," Dixon read from the statement. "But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us."

The speech caused a buzz on social media that was exacerbated by U.S. president-elect Trump's demand that the cast should apologize to Pence.

Riane Leonard, who manages the Twitter account for the Hamilton Theatre in Hamilton, Ont., began to receive a number of social media notifications.

Leonard initially thought the feedback was for the theatre's current play, The Toxic Avenger, but was concerned when the tweet she saw had a negative tone. "The first one was something like, 'I'm never supporting Hamilton Theatre again!'" Leonard told CBC News.

It was soon apparent that social media users on Twitter were confusing Hamilton, the musical on Broadway (@HamiltonMusical), with the Hamilton Theatre in Hamilton, Ont. (@HamiltonTheatre).

"They've been calling to boycott Hamilton and stage protests but little do they know that they are picking on Hamilton, Ontario's oldest musical theatre company," Leonard said.

Despite the misdirected attention the Hamilton theatre has received, Leonard told CBC News that she supported the Broadway cast of Hamilton in their message.

"They had an opportunity to have their voice heard by someone who is very high up in their government," Leonard told CBC News. "I think it would've been a missed opportunity if not."

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