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Political Idol 2020 Stings and Sings Silly and Strong in a Stream of Parody and Party Politics

Political Idol 2020 Stings and Sings Silly and Strong in a Stream of Parody and Party Politics

Everything’s coming up Neurosis.” I hear that, and can totally relate to that sentiment. In the same performance realm of Forbidden Broadway, writer Robert Yarnall and Marc Emory, alongside director Michael Goldfried and music directer Anessa Marie, have crafted a zoomed-in timely and farcically fun musical parody Political Idol 2020 that makes its way most giddily onto our laptop just a week before Election Day. It’s totally silly and almost ridiculous in its playful wide political swings as it tries to be topical and relevant while also witty and irreverent. Filled to the drunken rim with clever twists and turns, it serves up a somewhat lighter and fluffier version of what Randy Rainbow does so impeccably well – although I must say that Randy‘s lyrics seem to sting and sing with a higher level of creativity and cleverness (I mean, check this Patti LuPone duet out right now if you haven’t seen it already). 

Hosted by a bespeckled faux Oprah Winfrey (Davis), with constant interruptions by an orange Halloween-faced Donald Trump (Foster), the goofy characterizations portrayed by a game cast of vocally talented performers, are flung fast and furious. This is all being played out inside a makeshift singing competition where the winner takes the White House and the loser, well hopefully, wastes away in Mar-a-Lago-Ville (or prison, if it was up to me). Singing crafty lyrically-altered medleys of easily recognizable famous songs, the stars of the 2020 campaign season including Melania Trump (Antolik), Joe Biden (Foster), Amy Klobuchar (Antolik), Elizabeth Warren (Antolik), Nancy Pelosi (Antolik), Kimberly Guilfoyle (Antolik), Kamala Harris (Davis), Michelle Obama (Davis), Bill Barr (DiSalle), Mitch McConnell (DiSalle), Mayor Pete (Yarnall), and Bernie Sanders (Yarnall), find zingers and twists on musical phrases at every turn.  It’s definitely left-leaning in its allegiance (although never enough for this Canadian), but finds a balance that is both comfortable and not for us big city liberals to hang out in.

Political Idol 2020 is nothing new, but it does find a fun wacky 45-minute playlist of sixteen lyrically altered songs that point their jabs clearly, anchored inside some classic melodies, such as a deliciously designed “I Really Need Your Vote” (“I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line),  along with “Strangers on the Right” (“Strangers in the Night”), a sassy and smart “Seasons Of Trump” (Jonathan Larson’s “Seasons of Love” from “Rent”), a zingy “It’s Diversion” (Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”), “Fake” (Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”), and the wickedly wise Kamala Medley, delightfully squeezed out of Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon” plus many more, with the only response being, Yes, “We Love You, Kamala.” And please don’t “repress yourself.”

The cast sings out strong, giving a much needed vocal kick to the fun mash-ups created for this comical tidbit. Performing with glee and good spirit are Lara Buck Antolik (Film: Lady Hunters), Enga Davis (Broadway: One Mo’ Time), Joe DiSalle, Scott Foster, and Robert Yarnall, The creative team, including Sara Jean Tosetti (Costume Designer), Quentin Madia (Choreography), James Rushin (Audio Engineer), Bruno-Pierre Houle (Virtual Production Designer),  LCM247 (Video Production and Editing), Will Chaloner (Production Supervisor), Leah Michalos (Director Marketing), and LDK Productions/ Lisa Dozier King (General Management), has some playful fun with the straight-forward parody, with Marc Emory and Olson Rohdes (Executive Producers), and LCM247’s Patrick Heaphy (Producer), delivering the goods with crisp clear connotations, gifting us some relief from the tension of the week that lies ahead. I still have a hard time listening to that Orange Monster and his crew, even in playful jest, say those things, but all and all, it made me smile, against all the odds of the news cycle that keeps smashing us over the head day in and day out. This could help you survive the week ahead, although a good dose of Halloween “Hocus Pocus” on Disney+ or In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover this Friday night might do the trick (or treat) just as well, or even a bit wiser.

Cabaret
@#frontmezzjunkies

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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