From the White House to the Palace: The Clintons Take in An American in Paris

News   From the White House to the Palace: The Clintons Take in An American in Paris
 
Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, paid another of their frequent visits to Broadway May 30 when they saw the Tony-nominated musical An American in Paris at the Palace Theatre in Times Square.

The Clintons watched the stage musical that is based on the 1951 film classic, and includes such evergreen George and Ira Gershwin songs as "The Man I Love," "I Got Rhythm" and "Stairway to Paradise." At intermission the Clintons shook hands with well-wishers.

The visit quickly lit up social media.

 

 

* No modern president has been as persistent a theatregoer as Bill Clinton, who found time to see Broadway shows at least a half-dozen times during his tenure, and has continued to stroll the Great White Way in the years since.

On March 1 of this year, the 42nd president and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were in attendance at Off-Broadway's Public Theater, along with their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, to see Lin Manuel Miranda’s tribute to founding father (but never president) Alexander Hamilton.

Among other scenes, they were treated to Miranda’s portrait of Hamilton (the face on the ten-dollar bill) born to a single mother and working his way up to becoming Secretary of the Treasury and President Washington's right-hand man. They also saw Hamilton cheating on his wife, and the couple then working their way toward forgiveness and reconciliation.

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The Clintons slipped in to the Newman Theatre space at the Public just before the lights went down, but as happened at An American in Paris, they were mobbed at intermission by as many well-wishers as the Secret Service would allow to get within handshake distance of the former Commander-in-Chief. At the show’s finale, the Clintons joined in the standing ovation, and then slipped out through an emergency exit.

Among the Clinton family's previously documented theatregoing was a visit to Broadway’s The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey in 1999, evenings at the The Lion King and D.C.’s Ragtime in 1998, and a soujourn at Broadway’s Rent in 1997.

Also in 1997 Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton stopped by A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Broadway’s St. James Theatre, then starring Whoopi Goldberg, who ad libbed about his presence.

During the "Comedy Tonight" scene, which Goldberg often interrupted to comically berate latecomers, Goldberg told one tardy arrival, "Any other night we would have waited for you, but we got the Prez."

Afterward, Clinton and Vice President Gore mounted the stage to shake hands with the cast. Clinton focused on the toga-clad actors, hugging Goldberg, but leaving Gore with the task of keeping a straight face while greeting the scantily-clad maidens from the House of Marcus Lycus.

Clinton’s roving eye brought chuckles during a spring 1997 visit to Broadway’s Chicago when the chorus girls moaned "We want Billy" in the intro to "All I Care About Is Love." The New York Times reported that co-star Ernie Sabella was slightly concerned about his line "I have to go to the Senate this morning; I'm blackmailing one of the senators," but the line reportedly got only a titter.

Clinton has continued his theatregoing habit, cheering Spider-Man in 2011, and taking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, plus daughter Chelsea and her husband Marc Mezvinsky to see Sting’s The Last Ship on Dec. 22, 2014.Clinton’s roving eye brought chuckles during a spring 1997 visit to Broadway’s Chicago when the chorus girls moaned "We want Billy" in the intro to "All I Care About Is Love." The New York Times reported that co-star Ernie Sabella was slightly concerned about his line "I have to go to the Senate this morning; I'm blackmailing one of the senators," but the line reportedly got only a titter.

Clinton has continued his theatregoing habit, cheering Spider-Man in 2011, and, most recently, taking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, plus daughter Chelsea and her husband Marc Mezvinsky to see Sting’s The Last Ship on Dec. 22, 2014.

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