At the Tony Awards a week ago, actor Robert De Niro leveled a profane attack on President Trump. On Saturday in New York, it was Trump’s fans’ turn.
As the curtain call began for the Broadway musical “A Bronx Tale,” which De Niro co-directed, someone in the front row held up a large “Trump 2020” banner.
It’s not clear whether the stunt was a response to De Niro’s comments. But accounts of the incident popped up on social media, sparking a debate about the uneasy marriage between Broadway and politics.
“It’s sad that people can’t enjoy a beautiful show and embrace its unifying message without politicizing it,” tweeted theatergoer Joe Del Vicario, who posted a photo of the incident. The man who held up the banner was escorted from the theater, Del Vicario said.
The show’s hair and makeup supervisor, Brian Strumwasser, criticized the stunt in an Instagram post, saying, “Whoever the low life scum bag who thinks it’s ok to post their political views at a Broadway show and disrespect everyone there who paid to watch a show that is ALL ABOUT INCLUSION was thankfully removed from the theater Saturday night.”
Strumwasser has since disabled his Instagram and Twitter accounts. Neither he nor Del Vicario responded to CNN’s request for comment.
De Niro was introducing a performance by Bruce Springsteen at the Tonys on June 10 when he slammed the President in comments that were largely bleeped by CBS. “First, I wanna say, ‘f**k Trump,’” De Niro said. “It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump,” it’s ‘f**k Trump.’”
This isn’t the first time politics have made their way into a recent New York show. In November 2016 – about two weeks after the presidential election – a cast member of the popular show “Hamilton” addressed Vice President-elect Mike Pence from the stage after audience members booed the politician.
Speaking on behalf of the “Hamilton” cast, actor Brandon Victor Dixon said he hoped the show inspired Pence “to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
And last June, pro-Trump activists tried to shut down a New York Public Theater production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” after its title character, who was assassinated onstage every night, was costumed to look like President Trump.
CNN has reached out to a publicist for “A Bronx Tale” for comment.
The musical, about an Italian-American youth torn between loyalty to his hardworking father or to a local mobster, is based on a play that was adapted into a 1993 film directed by and starring De Niro.