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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) was ejected from the musical "Beetlejuice" in Denver this week after she was accused of vaping, singing, recording the show and being disruptive during the performance.
An incident report obtained by the Colorado Sun says that two patrons were reprimanded and then escorted from the premises for "causing a disturbance" during the musical Sunday night at the city-owned Buell Theatre. The incident report, which does not name the people involved, says the patrons were "issued a warning" during intermission after three complaints were made by other patrons about their behavior.
Surveillance footage from the theater published by KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Denver, appears to show Boebert and a man being escorted from their seats. In the hall, Boebert is seen rebuking an usher, at one point giving him the middle finger.
As they were being escorted from the premises, according to the incident report, the pair made statements such as: "Do you know who I am?" and "I am on the board" and "I will be contacting the mayor." Officers with the Denver Police Department responded to the incident and stayed in the lobby until the pair left the venue, the report says.
Drew Sexton, Boebert's campaign manager, confirmed to The Washington Post that the congresswoman was escorted out of the performance, but he disputed the alleged behavior cited by the venue.
"I can confirm the stunning and salacious rumors: in her personal time, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is indeed a supporter of the performing arts (gasp!) and, to the dismay of a select few, enthusiastically enjoyed a weekend performance of Beetlejuice," he said in a statement. Sexton noted that the Denver Post, the first to report the story, has reviewed the show as "zany," "outrageous" and a "lusty riot."
Sexton denied that Boebert was vaping during "Beetlejuice," saying that heavy fog machines and electronic cigarettes were used during the show, so there might have been "a misunderstanding from someone sitting near her."
Boebert said on X, formerly Twitter, that she "did thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre and I plead guilty to laughing and singing too loud!"
"Everyone should go see it if you get the chance this week and please let me know how it ends!" she wrote.
It's true, I did thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre and I plead guilty to laughing and singing too loud! 🤭
Everyone should go see it if you get the chance this week and please let me know how it ends! 😅https://t.co/8JHypcCKsP
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) September 12, 2023
Denver Police Sgt. David Abeyta told The Post that the venue's private security handled the situation, "so we actually never had any interaction with that incident."
"It was resolved before we got involved," he said.
Brian Kitts, director of marketing and communications for Denver Arts and Venues, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning. Kitts told the Denver Gazette that Boebert and her guest were booted after "numerous complaints" from fellow patrons about inappropriate behavior.
Before she came to Congress in 2020, Boebert was arrested or summoned at least four times, according to the Denver Post. Boebert, who represents a rural and heavily conservative part of western Colorado, was reelected last year after a recount confirmed she had won the closer-than-expected election. Her Democratic challenger, Adam Frisch, had argued that Boebert's controversial comments and reputation as a firebrand Republican - she compared the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol to 1776, when the United States declared its independence - were a distraction for her district. She won by 546 votes.
Frisch is challenging Boebert again for her seat in 2024.
"Beetlejuice," a Broadway adaptation of the 1988 Tim Burton film, is showing at the Buell Theatre until Sept. 17. The venue cautions that the musical "contains strong language, mature references, and a lot of the crazy, inappropriate stuff you would expect from a deranged demon."
On Sunday, staff received three complaints about the couple sitting in Row E of the orchestra section, the report says. Multiple officials waited until the pair returned to their seats to give them a warning.
"I informed them that our usher team had noticed vaping and also that they were causing a disturbance for the area with noise, singing, using their cellphone, and that they need to be respectful to their neighbors," an official wrote in the report. "Since, there was already multiple complaints, I informed the patrons that if there was another issue that they would be asked to leave."
That's when Boebert and her guest became "argumentative," saying that "they were in concert with everyone around them," the report says. Five minutes later, theater officials got another report that the pair were being loud and recording the performance, according to the report. That's when officials told Boebert and the man to leave.
"They told me they would not leave," a venue official wrote. "I told them that they need to leave the theatre and if they do not, they will be trespassing. The patrons said they would not leave. I told them I would [be] going to get Denver Police. They said go get them."
Minutes later, Boebert and her guest left. After they exited the theater, Boebert was seen twirling on the promenade while holding the man's hand, according to surveillance video.
The man did not appear to be her husband, and his identity is unclear. Boebert announced in May that she was filing for divorce from her husband of two decades. Her husband reportedly threatened their neighbors last year in what authorities described as a neighborhood disturbance. No arrests were made in that case.
Sexton, the Boebert campaign manager, told The Post that Boebert appreciates the venue's strict enforcement of its no-photo policy. The congresswoman "strongly encourages everyone to go see Beetlejuice," adding "But with a gentle reminder to leave their phones outside of the venue."