Aug 9, 2022 - Economy & Business

"Hamilton" attorneys call on church to stop "unauthorized" production

Actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (L) and actor, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (R) and cast of "Hamilton" perform on stage during a GRAMMY performance on February 15, 2016 in New York City.
Actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (L) and actor-composer Lin-Manuel Miranda perform with fellow "Hamilton" cast members in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage

"Hamilton" attorneys have sent the Door Christian Fellowship church in South Texas a "cease and desist" letter over its religious interpretation of the acclaimed Broadway show that concluded with a sermon.

Driving the news: RGV Productions and the McAllen church staged productions last Friday and Saturday, featuring the characters Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler Hamilton discussing how Jesus "saved" them, per videos posted by writer Hemant Mehta, who described the sermon as "demonizing homosexuality."

  • OnStage Blog first reported that the church's pastor said in a sermon at the show's end: "Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, with homosexuality, maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, God can help you tonight. He wants to forgive you for your sins."

What they're saying: Pastor Roman Gutierrez, the church's pastor, told the Dallas Morning News in a statement on Monday that the church wasn't anti-LGBTQ and that "everyone is always welcome."

  • Gutierrez said the production team of "Hamilton" granted the church legal permission to stage the show.

Yes, but: A spokesperson for "Hamilton" in a statement to news outlets on Monday denied the church had been given permission.

  • "Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church," the spokesperson said.
  • The spokesperson said the production was made aware last Saturday of the church's performances "and their plans for additional performances."
"We issued a cease and desist letter for the unauthorized use of Hamilton's intellectual property, demanding the immediate removal of all videos and images from previous productions from the internet, including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, their own website, and elsewhere."
ā€” Excerpt from "Hamilton" spokesperson's statement to media
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