The Door McAllen church in McAllen, Texas, was ordered to close its illegal production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton, which was streamed on YouTube August 5.
As reported by The Washington Post, The Door McAllen changed lyrics to Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical to include biblical references and added a closing sermon that shunned the LGBT+ community.
Shane Marshall Brown, a spokesperson for the musical states, "Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church. We issued a cease-and-desist letter for the unauthorized use of Hamilton's intellectual property, demanding the immediate removal of all videos and images from previous productions from the internet, including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, their own website, and elsewhere."
The church received the cease and desist letter August 6 after the August 5 performance was live-streamed to the church's YouTube channel. The Door McAllen was granted "limited permission" to perform its August 6 show under a series of stipulations listed in Hamilton's full statement (listed below)—including a no videos or photos rule and the cancellation of all future performances.
Writer and podcaster Hamant Mehta shared clips of the Texas production on social media. In one clip, the actor portraying Eliza Hamilton sings, "I'm not afraid, my hope is in Jesus. If you could just give him a chance today, that would be enough." Miranda's original lyric states, "I’m not afraid, I know who I married. So long as you come home at the end of the day, that would be enough."
More from The Door McAllen church's illegal Christianized "Hamilton."— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) August 8, 2022
The song is supposed to go:
"But I’m not afraid
I know who I married
So long as you come home at the end of the day
That would be enough" pic.twitter.com/CUitoUXQ34
The Door McAllen's live-streamed production and trailer have been removed from YouTube, and no trace of the production can be found on its social media page. Door McAllen Pastor Roman Gutierrez claimed in a quote given to Dallas News that he had previously acquired legal permission to produce the show. More conversations surrounding the production are expected to be held in the coming days. The Hamilton controversy was first reported by OnstageBlog.com.
Miranda's musical Hamilton is directed by Thomas Kail with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler. The show is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, and The Public Theater.
The Tony-, Pulitzer-, and Olivier Award-winning musical was filmed live and released via Disney+ in 2020, featuring the entirety of the principal original cast, including Miranda in the title role.
Read Hamilton's full statement here:
"Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church.
On Saturday, August 6, we were made aware of the unauthorized staging of HAMILTON by The Door Church in McAllen, TX that took place on Friday, August 5, and their plans for additional performances. We issued a cease and desist letter for the unauthorized use of Hamilton’s intellectual property, demanding the immediate removal of all videos and images from previous productions from the internet, including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, their own website, and elsewhere.
Hamilton informed the Church after receiving a response to the cease and desist letter, that they could proceed with the August 6 performance, on the conditions that (a) it was not live-streamed or recorded; (b) no photos or videos of the performance be posted; (c) they not mount any further productions; (d) this limited permission was without prejudice, and we reserved all rights and remedies; and (e) we would be discussing this matter with the parties behind this unauthorized production within the coming days once all facts are properly vetted.
The Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity and certainly LGBTQ+ rights. We are in the process of reviewing the unauthorized changes made to the script to determine further action.
We would like to thank our devoted fans for bringing this to our attention."