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Rep. Lauren Boebert was escorted out of 'Beetlejuice' over reports of rude behavior

Rep. Lauren Boebert, pictured here at the U.S. Capitol in January, was escorted from a Denver theater on Sunday night after multiple complaints of disruptive behavior.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images
Rep. Lauren Boebert, pictured here at the U.S. Capitol in January, was escorted from a Denver theater on Sunday night after multiple complaints of disruptive behavior.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert was escorted out of a Denver theater on Sunday night after several people seated near her in the audience complained she was creating a disturbance.

In an incident report shared with NPR, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts said it had to remove two guests from a performance of Beetlejuice, the musical, for violating viewing policies.

The theater didn't name Boebert specifically, but the Colorado Republican identified herself by tweeting, "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," she added. "Please let me know how it ends."

The report said the people removed were seen vaping and using a cell phone to record the performance, against theater rules.

Theater staff received three different complaints about the behavior, prompting security to issue a warning to the two patrons during intermission. But five minutes into the second act, the staff received a fourth complaint, and mobilized to remove the two patrons.

One of the ushers reported that the guests resisted leaving.

"They told me they would not leave. I told them that they need to leave the theater 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," the usher in the report.

Surveillance footage shared with local news outlets appears to show Boebert, seated next to a man in a suit jacket in row E, towards the front of the 2,800-person theater.

As the audience applauds a scene's end, the pair are confronted by two security guards as surrounding patrons watch on. After a minute of conversation, they get up to leave.

Boebert turns back several times to speak to security guards as she's escorted through the theater's lobby. According to the incident report, the pair were saying things like "Do you know who I am?," "I am on the board" and "I will be contacting the mayor."

At one point Boebert stops to take a photo of herself, surveillance footage shows. Once outside the theater, she walks hand-in-hand with the man and twirls, as if dancing.

In a statement to NPR, Boebert's campaign manager dismissed the report as over-blown.

"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," wrote Drew Sexton.

"She appreciates the Buell Theatre's strict enforcement of their no photos policy and only wishes the Biden Administration could uphold our border laws as thoroughly and vigorously."

He added that she was not vaping, pointing out that the performance makes use of "heavy fog machines and electronic cigarettes."

Boebert, who is running for a third term to represent Colorado's third congressional district, is no stranger to run-ins with police and security guards.

Prior to starting her career in office, she was arrested and summonsed at least four separate times, each on minor charges, according to The Denver Post.

She wasn't allowed on the House floor during her first days at the U.S. Capitol after she refused to let Capitol Police search her purse after she set off metal detectors placed at entrances to the House floor, part of a new security procedure implemented after Jan. 6, 2021.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emily Olson
Emily Olson is on a three-month assignment as a news writer and live blog editor, helping shape NPR's digital breaking news strategy.