Hillary Clinton Visits Broadway's 'POTUS', Gets Cheers Over Questions of Why She Isn't President

"I laughed so hard," Hillary Clinton told POTUS stars Vanessa Williams, Julianne Hough, Rachel Dratch and more after the performance on Wednesday night

Julianne Hough, Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Hillary Clinton, Rachel Dratch, Julie White, Vanessa Williams and Suzy Nakamura pose backstage at the hit play "POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive" on Broadway at The Shubert Theater on July 6, 2022 in New York City.
Photo: Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Hillary Rodham Clinton got two sanding ovations on Broadway Wednesday night, and she wasn't even on stage!

The politician, author and longtime Broadway fan attended a performance of the acclaimed comedy POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, much to the thrill of audiences in attendance.

According to sources on the scene, theatergoers jumped to their feet when Clinton, 74, made her way to her seat at New York City's Shubert Theater to see the show — a foulmouthed fictional political farce set in the White House, Clinton's old stomping grounds.

Another round of applause came her way during the show's first act, when Lilli Cooper — who plays a White House reporter — reviews the accomplishments of POTUS' first lady (played by Vanessa Williams) and asks, "Why aren't you president?"

"That's the eternal question, isn't it?" Williams responded, sending the audience back onto their feet, the crowd turning their cheers towards Clinton for over a minute.

Of course, Clinton famously ran for president twice, making history as the first female Democratic candidate in 2016 (she won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote to former President Donald Trump).

She also served as the first lady from 1993 to 2001 as the wife of former President Bill Clinton, and would go on to become a New York senator from 2001 to 2009 and the 67th United States secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

"She seems very grateful for all the love," a source at the show tells PEOPLE. "The energy of the audience was next level because she was there, and everyone's performances on stage were elevated by her presence. It was an incredible thing to witness."

After the show, Clinton surprised the cast of POTUS in the wings, praising their performance.

"I laughed so hard, oh my god!" she said, according to another insider. "You were all so great. It was so much fun. Hilarious. And wow, that audience was on fire tonight, they were having such a good time!"

Williams, Cooper and their costars — Tony winner Julie White, Rachel Dratch, Suzy Nakamura, Julianne Hough, and Lea DeLaria — then posed with Clinton on the show's set.

POTUS received rave reviews when it opened on Broadway in April, earning three Tony nominations including one a piece for White and Dratch. It's also earned mid-show standing ovations after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, thanks to a line from Hough's character about how "affordable, safe reproductive healthcare is a basic human right."

The play, penned by 27-year-old newcomer Selina Fillinger, is currently on sale through Aug. 14.

Hillary Clinton chats with the cast backstage at the hit play "POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive" on Broadway at The Shubert Theater on July 6, 2022 in New York City.
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

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Meanwhile, Clinton will be back with Williams and White on Friday afternoon, hosting a special panel at BroadwayCon, the premiere fan convention for all things Broadway.

The panel, titled Here's to the Ladies, will also feature Tony winners LaChanze and Donna Murphy. Clinton, according to a release, will be discussing with them their work in the theater, celebrating their accomplishments while also discussing "the barriers that are still to be broken."

Tickets for the convention are now on sale.

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