Jason is a producer, manager, and designer with 17 years of experience in Chicago, New York, and in the touring market. In 2015, he founded Lotus Theatricals – the publisher of Performink, and an independent commercial producing company – with Abigail Trabue.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attended Friday night’s performance of MAMMA MIA! at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, accompanied by his wife, Rebecca Miller, and his two children. Spicer arrived promptly “5 or so minutes before curtain,” according to an usher who reached out to PerformInk, “without any security detail.” The family was seated without any disturbance from the audience, as has happened when Trump administration officials have attended recent Broadway performances. The Marriott would not say how far in advance the tickets were purchased, or if they were provided with comps. Spicer is in the Chicago area for a brief respite from the Trump White House to visit Miller’s parents, who live in nearby Vernon Hills.
“He was really into it,” said cast member Meghan Murphy. “He sat in the third or fourth row, and I could see him chewing his gum to the beat the whole time,” she continued. “It seemed like he really needed a night off.”
Spicer and family went backstage after the show and thanked the actors for the performance. “He was really sweet,” said Danni Smith, “he said we sounded like there were 1.5 million of us on stage.”
“He’s a huge fan of the movie, said Karl Hamilton who plays Harry Bright. “He thought I was better than Colin Firth, and better looking too — but he admitted that it’s hard to live up to Pierce Brosnan’s performance in the role of Sam Carmichael. He thinks Brosnan is a really talented singer.”
“He really wanted to know about the costumes,” said Smith, “he said they made the most of the many ‘real women’ figures on stage,” and he apparently loved the way “the gold and silver spandex outfits outlined the perfect bodies of the terrific chorus dancers.”
Spicer hasn’t mentioned attending the show on social media, but he did tweet a lyric from the ABBA song “Thank You for the Music” late Friday:
In a long shot, we reached out to the White House for comment and were surprised to get an email back from Spicer’s assistant Carol Fitzpatrick: “It’s his favorite show. He’s not really a Broadway guy, but he loves MAMMA MIA! On a really stressful day, or after a particularly rough briefing, Sean locks the door and turns up ‘Dancing Queen.’ It helps him cope. Sometimes we’ll blare Super Trouper in the briefing room to get him pumped just before letting the press in.
Marriott’s Executive Producer Terry James said the theater will put a plaque on the aisle seat Spicer utilized, that will dub it the “Sean Spicer Memorial Seat,” eternally guaranteed to be gum-free. And if you’re still reading and think this article is real, bless your heart. Happy April Fools Day.