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Disruption in Chicago ‘Hamilton’ audience ends in man’s arrest

The Chicago production of "Hamilton." The play asks us whether we have "done enough" — a good question for Gov. Bruce Rauner and Speaker Michael J. Madigan, writes Madeleine Doubek. | Joan Marcus/Broadway in Chicago

The night after a New York “Hamilton” star lectured the vice present-elect from the stage, irking Donald Trump, the Chicago production had some drama of its own in the seats.

A Chicago man was arrested Saturday after what several audience members said was a disruptive incident at the PrivateBank Theatre. Police charged John Palmer, 56, of the 100 block of East Illinois Street, with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to land after causing a disturbance at the performance and refusing to leave.

He has an initial court date on Jan. 9 at 2452 W. Belmont.

Social media accounts say an audience member began loudly ranting after actors playing Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette sang “Immigrants — we get the job done!” — a lyric that always draws cheers.

“He started raising his voice and throwing up middle fingers at anyone who looked at him, including me and my best friend,” audience member Ken Keacher told

Kate Hoyt, who was with Keacher, told the site, “He was saying things like, ‘We won. Trump is president. Get over it.’ At some point Ken leaned into the aisle to try and tell him to leave and the guy then put up both his fists and said ‘Let’s go, Democrats. I’ll kill you all.’ ”

Another audience member told that theater security was summoned and that when staffers tried to calm the man, an argument ensued that continues through two later songs.

Theater staff eventually removed the man, the audience members said.

Others said they were in the audience and tweeted similar accounts.

There was no comment from Broadway in Chicago, which is presenting the local “Hamilton” production.