Hillary Clinton Receives Ovation at Final Broadway Performance of ‘The Color Purple’

Hillary Clinton Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Hillary Clinton Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Hillary Clinton, who has kept a relatively low public profile since losing the presidential election two months ago, on Sunday showed up at the final performance of the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” reveling in the story of a beleaguered woman who triumphs over the oppressive men in her life (and, along the way, discovers a love for colorful pants).

Mrs. Clinton, accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, received several ovations from the sold-out audience as she arrived, and then another round of applause when she was acknowledged by the cast after the show.

“There’s a lot of really awesome famous and notable people here today,” the actress Patrice Covington, who gave the farewell speech on behalf of the cast after the show, said to the audience. “I’m not going to call all of them out — I know you already know them,” she said, before pausing, looking in Mrs. Clinton’s direction, and waving at her mischievously. At that, the audience erupted into a new, loud round of applause.

The reaction was substantially warmer than the scattered booing and clapping that greeted the arrival of Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended “Hamilton,” just one block north, on Nov. 18.

“We love you Hillary,” some audience members shouted. Several thanked Mrs. Clinton and told her, “God bless you.”

“God bless you,” Mrs. Clinton replied.


Mrs. Clinton was besieged by photo-seekers before the show, at intermission and as she was ushered out a side door after the musical ended (“Whoa!” said her husband as they left.)

Jordan Serpone, 33, an audience member from Boston, said that spotting Mrs. Clinton was a surprisingly moving experience for him.

“I was having every emotion I’ve tried to get rid of over the past few weeks,” he said during intermission. He shook her hand, but said he is still filled with frustration over her loss. “She shouldn’t be here. She should be planning her cabinet,” he said.

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