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Attorneys for the Broadway show “Hamilton” sent a cease and desist letter to a Texas church after it staged an altered version of the musical on Friday that added religious themes.
A spokesperson for “Hamilton” told the Dallas Morning News that The Door McAllen church did not have the rights to put on the production.
“Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church,” the spokesperson told the News, mentioning that lawyers sent the church a cease and desist letter.
This was contrary to a claim from church pastor Roman Gutierrez, who told the News that he had legal permission for the production.
The church was already planning a repeat performance on Saturday. A “Hamilton” spokesperson acknowledged that the church was told they could go on with that show, provided they did not put on any others and did not allow video or photos to be taken. The Saturday show was also not permitted to be put online, after Friday’s had been streamed on YouTube.
Videos posted to social media showed that the church’s version of the show changed lyrics to the show and added a scene where Alexander Hamilton finds Jesus and repents for his sins.
The church was also criticized for following the staging of the hit musical with a sermon during which a pastor likened homosexuality to “struggles” such as alcohol and drugs. Gutierrez denied that the church is anti-LGBTQ, telling the News that “everyone is always welcome” there.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton,” is an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ community. His show became a smash hit upon its debut in 2015. In addition to a massive Broadway run, the show has gone on tour and a filmed version was released on Disney+ in 2020.