It may be illegal to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, but it’s apparently not against the law to make Nazi salutes and scare the absolute bejeezus out of audience members just trying to enjoy a pleasant evening with Tevye, Yente, and the tailor Mottle Kamzoil (you mean the butcher?) in the shtetl of Anatevka.
During the intermission of Wednesday evening’s performance of Fiddler on the Roof at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater, an unidentified man stood and began shouting “Heil Hitler! Heil Trump” while making Nazi salutes, the Baltimore Sun reported on Thursday.
The immediate aftermath of this bizarre spectacle was caught on video by audience member Rich Scherr, who uploaded the footage to Twitter.
“People started running,” Scherr told the Sun. “I’ll be honest, I was waiting to hear a gunshot. I thought, ‘Here we go.’”
While police were called, and the man was eventually removed from the theater, the Associated Press reported that he was not, in fact, arrested for having interrupted a classic show about the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe by invoking history’s greatest anti-Semite.
The Hippodrome theater issued a statement following the incident, in which they apologized for the disruption and reiterated their commitment to the security of audience members:
Behavior like we saw during intermission at Wednesday evening’s performance is not, and will not be, tolerated. The Hippodrome’s on-site security team, along with our usher staff were able to remedy the situation and remove the offending audience member quickly, coordinating efforts with local police, who met the man as he was escorted out of the building.
The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center takes the security and safety of its subscribers and patrons seriously. We employ a full team of professional security personnel, who are always on premise during live events to implement bag checks, provide screening and metal detection, and to monitor cameras throughout the venue.
We apologize to those patrons who were affected by this unfortunate incident. Our venue has a proud tradition of providing shared experiences to people from all walks of life, right in the heart of this wonderfully diverse city, and we intend to continue that tradition in the spirit of bringing people together, not dividing them.
This is just the latest in a series of Trump-related theater interruptions over the past few months. In June, Robert De Niro’s production of A Bronx Tale was disrupted by a man waving a “Trump 2020" banner. And in September, a cast member of the stage production of Disney’s Frozen grabbed a pro-Trump flag away from an audience member during the show’s curtain call. With the Hitler reference, however—and considering the anti-Semitic terrorist attack in Pittsburgh last month—this incident has a much darker context.
Just another day in our prolonged national nervous breakdown. Sunrise, sunset.