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Hillary Clinton made a rare appearance at ‘The Color Purple’ — and got three standing ovations

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton receives three standing ovations as she attends “The Color Purple” play in New York on Jan. 8. (Video: Instagram/Takaya Hanayuishi and Twitter/Jonathan Low)

Hillary Clinton made a rare public appearance at the Broadway musical “The Color Purple” on Sunday — and received three standing ovations.

Photos from the scene showed people gawking at Clinton and snapping photos. In a video, people leaned over balconies to capture images.

Clinton’s appearance at the play was met with celebration, in contrast to the reaction Vice President-elect Mike Pence received when he went to see “Hamilton” in November, a week after he and President-elect Donald Trump won the election.

During Sunday’s show, many cheered and angled to get a glimpse of the former presidential candidate.

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Audience member Jordan Serpone, who shook Clinton’s hand at the show, told the New York Times that seeing her was an emotional experience.

“I was having every emotion I’ve tried to get rid of over the past few weeks,” he said. “She shouldn’t be here. She should be planning her Cabinet.”

Public appearances by the former secretary of state have been rare since she lost the presidential race to Trump.

Margot Gerster made national headlines when she ran into Clinton in the woods in Chappaqua, N.Y., two days after the election. Gerster, who was hiking with her baby on her back, snapped a photo with her arm around Clinton. Later, Gerster received death threats.

Satirizing Clinton’s elusiveness in December, “Saturday Night Live” did a skit called “The Hunt for Hil,” in which two investigators venture into the Chappaqua woods to “find her, trap her and thank her,” using night-vision cameras and a forest shaman.

Other than the ovations on Sunday, Clinton’s appearance didn’t affect the show.

When Pence attended “Hamilton” on Broadway, the actors had pointed words for the vice president-elect at the end of the performance.

As The Washington Post’s Amy B Wang and Ana Swanson reported, the cast “crafted a message encouraging the incoming administration to uphold America’s values on behalf of people of different backgrounds, beliefs and orientations.”

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Pence was greeted with loud boos, a few cheers and the flash of cellphone cameras, The Post reported.

Among those in the audience Sunday were actresses Phylicia Rashad and Debra Messing, and “Hamilton” actor Leslie Odom Jr., according to the New York Times.

“The Color Purple” is a play based on Alice Walker’s book, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, that focuses on the low social status of black women in the South during the 1930s.

Sunday was the last chance for Clinton — and everyone else — to see the play on Broadway. The show, which won two Tony awards, ended its run with the Sunday matinee.

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