Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Sunday, 31 May 2009 07:28 UK

Obamas enjoy a date on Broadway


Obamas enjoy a date on Broadway

US President Barack Obama has fulfilled a pre-election promise by flying first lady Michelle to New York for a date.

"I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished," the US president explained in a statement.

Republicans characterised the trip as insensitive and wasteful against the backdrop of US car giant General Motors preparing for an expected bankruptcy.

White House aides and media accompanied the first couple on their private date.

The president and first lady travelled to New York in a smaller plane than the regular Air Force One 747.

Mr and Mrs Obama ate dinner at Blue Hill restaurant, described as a trendy place where the food is grown by owner-chef Dan Barber.

Crowds lined the street to get a glimpse of the First Couple in New York
Crowds lined the streets near the theatre for a glimpse of the couple

After dinner they moved on to the theatre.

Taxi drivers stood on the door frames of their vehicles as crowds gathered, up to eight people deep, to glimpse the first couple as their motorcade passed through blockaded streets.

The presidential date ended with a performance of August Wilson's play, Joe Turner's Come and Gone.

The play is set in a Pittsburgh boarding house during a time when thousands of descendants of former slaves seeking work moved in large numbers from the rural south toward the industrial cities of the north.

The Obamas flew back to Washington on Saturday night.

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