Regardless of their party, politicians love to see Broadway shows. The Obamas adored them, Hillary Clinton binge watches them, Ivanka Trump went with Justin Trudeau to see one, and deposed FBI Director James Comey ran, in defeat, to do the same. It seems that whenever a politician wins, they celebrate by seeing a Broadway musical. If they lose or get fired, they try to recover by, well, seeing a Broadway musical. What is it about seeing chorus boys and girls and divas belting out a tune that so appeals to these hardened bureaucrats?
For one, it’s a cathartic way for politicos to be public and private at the same time. They’re welcomed and noticed and ballyhooed at the theater, but then, for two hours, they can sit and relax, not having to worry about the fate of mankind—or their careers. After all, cell phones must be turned off the whole time!
Singing and dancing seem to be the great political unifier of our time, for everyone from theater aficionados, tourists, and people who decide earth-shaking things about our nation’s future. Fortunately, there are more than a few musicals about politics (Hamilton, 1776, Fiorello!), so Capitol Hill types can at least see singing along and dancing to topics they’re personally familiar with.
David Goldyn, a producer on Broadway’s Honeymoon in Vegas musical and producer of off-Broadway’s Daddy Issues, sums it up thusly: “When politicians are stuck in the muck and mire of party gridlock and presidential insanity, it is refreshing to go to a show where things are resolved for better or worse by the end of an evening. We all go the theatre to escape, to be enlightened, and to be seen.”
He added, not without irony: With all the palace intrigue at the White House, the drama over Melania and Donald’s marriage, lies and smears and leaks, and a great villain in Vladimir Putin, “Can Trump the Musical be far behind?”