If the New York theatre scene can sustain musicals about cats, Mormons and even Spider-Man, why not a stage production about a former U.S. president whose second term in office was marred by a fling with an intern?
It’s already happened.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Clinton: The Musical is scheduled to make its North American premiere as part of next month’s New York Theatre Festival.
Booked to run from July 18 to 25 at the Pershing Square Signature Center, the musical penned by Australian brothers Paul and Michael Hodge made its debut at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, where it received a nomination for best new musical.
The production shifted to King’s Head Theatre in London last year for a limited run.
According to the program description for Clinton: The Musical: “It’s hard enough being president by yourself. Bill Clinton’s problem is that there are two of him. Literally. Clinton follows two Bill Clintons and Hillary on their quest to save their presidency and change America.”
More accurately, the show presents fictional stage versions of two Bill Clintons: One a savvy politician and sage statesman beloved by the American people; the other an uncouth Arkansas hillbilly prone to moonshine and good times.
The cast of support characters in Clinton: The Musical include Clinton’s vice-president Al Gore, repugnant Republican Newt Gingrich, federal prosecutor Kenneth Starr and, obviously, Monica Lewinsky.
And for those requiring any convincing of the show’s irreverence, consider that the cast also includes an actress portrayingc(presumably in poltergeist form since the former first lady passed away in 1962).
However Clinton: The Musical is received in the Big Apple, it’s a safe bet the show will be compared to the upcoming production of Rob Ford The Musical: The Birth of Ford Nation, which playwright creator Brett McCaig recently described as “Shakespearean” in scope.
One notable difference between the two shows: Bill Clinton left the Oval Office in 2001. Rob Ford is still mayor of Toronto.
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