According to The New York Times, Barack, 55, and Malia, 18, took their seats alongside Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to the president, after the lights went down at the American Airlines Theater, trying to cause as little a disturbance as possible.
“Well, I actually didn’t know he was sitting in the row,” a fellow theatergoer told the the Times, noting that she was initially irked that the tardy individuals were slipping into their seats after the show started. “Who is so rude to come in after the show starts with the flashlights and everything?”
But once the woman realized that the latecomers were the former president and his older daughter, her mood lifted. “I had a really bad day and it all just changed,” she told the Times.
The father-daughter pair even sneaked backstage during intermission to chat with the A-list cast and crew, which included Mark Ruffalo, Danny DeVito, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht. The Roundabout Theatre Company later shared a photo of the Obamas with the cast backstage via Instagram, captioning the image, “We are so honored to have had President @barackobama in our theater this evening for #ThePriceBway!”
Earlier in the day, the former president caused a mild commotion when he left a Starbucks in NYC’s Flatiron district, causing a crowd to gather and cheer as he exited the building with a wave and a coffee in hand. And the internet seized upon the moment to celebrate.
— Captain (@grouperpro) February 25, 2017
Pres. Obama got more attention today buying coffee than our current president did giving a speech at CPAC.
— Marge Gasnick (@PensNRoses) February 25, 2017
— BCarrz (@bcarrz) February 25, 2017
Barack Obama just arrived in row just behind me for Broadway show. Performance is revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price.”
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 25, 2017
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) February 24, 2017
In the past months, Broadway has proven to be a popular destination for politicians across the political spectrum. Hillary Clinton has received standing ovations for her attendance of such shows as In Transit and The Color Purple, which she attended with husband Bill.
By contrast, Vice President Mike Pence attended the popular Broadway show Hamilton last November and was booed for a full minute by the audience as he made his way to his seat. The cast of the hit production later directly addressed Pence as he tried to duck out of the theater, imploring him to “uphold our American values.”