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Political Idol at The Triad Theater: A Cast of Four Creates 22 Pop and Political Icons

- Backstage with the Playwrights

The Freedom Toast Presents
Political Idol
The Triad Theater, NYC
158 West 72nd Street
NY, NY 10023
(Triad Website)
Written by Robert Yarnall
Directed by Julie Blanciak
Lyrics by Marc Emory, Robert Yarnall, Rob Seitelman

Lara Buck as Hillary Clinton, Ann Coulter, Laura Bush, Joan Rivers, Dennis Kucinich;
 Enga Davis as Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Al Sharpton,
Tina Turner; Joe DiSalle as Mitt Romney, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Sam Brownback,
Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan 2, Fred Thompson; Robert Yarnall as Rudy Giuliani,
John Edwards, George Bush, Ronald Reagan 3, Bill Clinton

Music Direction: Chris Haberl
Costume and Wig Design: Kat Martin
Stage Manager: Liza Baron
Drums: Mike Dobson
Production Assistant: Anais Borck
General Manager: Olson Rohdes
Press Representative: Peter Cromarty

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 6, 2007

In the most hilarious political, musical spoof to date, four actors/dancers/singers portray all the political “characters” above and bring their weaknesses and foibles out for all to laugh about, sing about, and remember, while life imitates art on the nightly news. Marc Emory, founder of The Freedom Toast, created this series of parodies at a Renaissance Weekend gathering, where he recorded twists on renowned ballads, switching lyrics to highlight the show-stopping laments of today’s politicians in the electoral fray. Robert Yarnall added to these parodies, with book and lyrics, and Political Idol was born.

Hillary Clinton sings “What’s Bill Got to Do with It” to the Tina Turner favorite, and John Edwards slowly sings “Mr. Edwards Neighborhood” in a cardigan sweater. Dennis Kucinich sings “Dennis the Congressman”, and Barack Obama sings “Barak the Knife”. Rudy Giuliani sings “Giuliani” to the tune of “That’s Amore”, and Fred Thompson sings “Vote for the Old White Guy” to the tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. A simple backdrop allows the characters to quickly change props and wigs, as Hillary Clinton morphs into Ann Coulter and then Laura Bush. In fact, Lara Buck does a photographic quality Laura Bush, as she secretly falls in love with Barack Obama and plots to meet her “dreamy” paramour. She even turns into Dennis Kucinich, in one of the three cross-gender acts, with Enga Davis turning into Barack Obama and Al Sharpton.

Ms. Davis’ Obama wears a suit and is the quintessential distillation of the effete, low-key side of the Illinois Senator and Presidential contender. She dances as a pro, and as Sharpton, in “You Can Call Me Al”, she brought the house to a roar. Joe DiSalle, tall and versatile, did a perfect wooden take on Al Gore, right after addressing the crowd as an arrogant, slick Mitt Romney. As a devilish Dick Cheney, he joined in with “Clinton Is to Blame-O”. The fourth actor, Robert Yarnall, who wrote the show, had some of the most searingly funny lines, and his Rudy Giuliani brought out the mixture of the “nice guy- mean guy” qualities so publicized in current news analyses. To be able to morph from a bragging Giuliani to a babyish Bush to a coy Bill Clinton in a matter of minutes is a true dramatic feat, and Robert Yarnall is a true professional at his craft.

I would assume that the act may evolve as certain Presidential contenders drop from the field. Sam Brownback has already hit the political dust, and John McCain was not even enacted in this pretend cast of 22. I would also assume that a new song or two may emerge, as events unfold and more grist for the mill explodes through television and You Tube. The Triad Theater serves wine at café tables, and the entire experience is joyful. The limited-run show runs on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM only, so do not miss this entertainment, especially now that the writer’s strike has halted much of each evening’s televised, political satire. Hopefully, Political Idol will find a permanent home in New York. We need this charming catharsis.

Joe DiSalle as Mitt Romney, Lara Buck as Hillary Clinton
Enga Davis as Barack Obama, Robert Yarnall as John Edwards
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

Enga Davis as Barack Obama, Joe DiSalle as Al Gore
Lara Buck as Hillary Clinton, Robert Yarnall as Rudy Giuliani
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

Enga Davis as Condoleezza Rice
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

Lara Buck as Laura Bush
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

Joe DiSalle as Mitt Romney
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

Robert Yarnall as George Bush
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

Enga Davis as Barack Obama
Photo Courtesy of  Jonathan Conklin

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at