Man who disrupted ‘Hamilton’ pleads guilty, banned from theaters

SHARE Man who disrupted ‘Hamilton’ pleads guilty, banned from theaters

Chris De’Sean Lee (from left), Jose Ramos, Wallace Smith and Miguel Cervantes star in the Chicago production of “Hamilton,” at The PrivateBank Theatre. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

John Palmer didn’t yell, curse or frighten any women Monday — as prosecutors said he did last November when he was booted from a downtown production of Hamilton.

The 56-year-old Chicago businessman mostly whispered with his attorney, before pleading guilty Monday in a Cook County courtroom on the North Side to misdemeanor trespassing, stemming from the Nov. 19 incident.

If Palmer gets a hankering soon to see a show, he won’t be able to catch Hamilton in Chicago or productions at any other theaters that are part of the Broadway in Chicago group. As part of his plea agreement, Palmer is banned from those theaters for the next six months. And though he said he didn’t have the authority to extend the ban, Judge Anthony John Calabrese told Palmer that he’ll likely face arrest if he shows up at the PrivateBank Theatre, where Hamilton is playing, at any time in the future.

A representative from Broadway in Chicago told Calabrese that the show’s run could last up to five years.

Palmer made national headlines last year after causing a disruption at the Hamilton show, and then refusing to leave.

In court, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Lindsay Hicks told Calabrese that Palmer was “yelling,” “cursing” and “making actresses fearful.”

Palmer’s attorney, Jonathan D. Feldman, told reporters in the days after the incident that his client did nothing wrong, that he was merely trying to enjoy a family night out when he found himself surrounded by “hostile, partisan and biased” theatergoers.”

“It’s my understanding that prior to Mr. Palmer defending himself in the audience, other members of the audience had adequately antagonized and provoked a political viewpoint that was not in defense of our president-elect,” Feldman said at the time.

Feldman had said that the hostility stemmed from the lecture a cast member in New York gave to Vice President-elect Mike Pence the day before the Chicago incident.

Outside the courthouse Monday, Palmer stood beside his attorney but declined to comment.

“Mr. Palmer regrets the incident,” Feldman said. “We’re glad the matter is resolved, and we regret not leaving the theater sooner.”

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