How Bolton’s New Book and a Broadway Show Became Part of Trump’s Impeachment Trial

From a New York Times story, by Ben Brantley, headlined “A Curious Cameo In the Trump Trial”:

Wait a minute. A lyric from a Broadway show is part of the most heated political discourse of the moment? Something from a musical has actually been appended to a major national talking point?

It was revealed on Monday that the title of John Bolton’s new memoir —a book that could possibly change the direction of the Trump impeachment investigation—is “The Room Where It Happened.” On Sunday, in a television interview with ABC’s “The Week,” Senator Amy Klobuchar, discussing the need for calling witnesses in the Senate investigation, said the show should “talk about the people who were in the room where it happened.”

The exact title of the song from “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster show, is “The Room Where It Happens.” One of the many elements that make “Hamilton” so exciting is its urgency, a sense of past events occurring in the here and now. . . . And yes, that is also the man whom Burr subsequently killed in a duel, propelled by the same combustible competitiveness that informs this song. . . .

In any case, it’s refreshing to have a Broadway show being part of mainstream conversation again, a rarity during my tenure as theater critic. The last time I can recall anything similar happening? Well, that would have been just after Donald J. Trump had been elected president in 2016, and his vice president-elect, Mike Pence, showed up at a Broadway performance of—yep, the same—“Hamilton.”

The actor Brandon Victor Dixon (who was playing Burr) stepped out at the curtain call to address Pence from the stage and asked him to keep his mind open to the breadth and value of American diversity. This in turn occasioned a tweet from the president that escalated into … Well, it was among of the first of many such dramas played out on social media.

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