Me the People: The Trump America Musical
Donald Trump and his circle are satirized in this breezy, topical and patchy musical revue. The youthful and energetic cast and the wigs are outstanding.
Aiesha Alia Dukes, Mitchel Kawash, Mia Weinberger, and Richard Spitaletta are the personable ensemble that rapidly portray the gallery of in-the-news characters.
The animated and charismatic Mr. Spitaletta is the standout of the cast, vibrantly appearing in numerous roles. Highlights of his portrayals are a commanding Russian agent spoofing Danny Kaye’s tongue-twisting patter number “Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians)” from Kurt Weil’s Lady in The Dark, and a rollicking caricature of Richard Nixon. Mr. Spitaletta is an ever-present delight.
Holson’s book and lyrics are solid, and might amuse some audience members while leaving others in silence with its old fashioned sensibility. Credit must be given for swiftly updating the material. At the performance reviewed, there were references to Trump’s tweet attacking television news’ Mika Brzezinski that occurred the previous day.
The size of the Inaugural crowd, The Affordable Care Act, the Russians, North Korea, The Supreme Court and Ivanka and Jared Kushner are all tamely lampooned.
The score is comprised of pop tune melodies. “Hotel Mar-a-Lago” is performed to The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” “The Girl from Ipanema,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Rockin’ Robin” all get a lot of mileage.
For the finale, Hillary Clinton appears for the brash number “Fuck You” sung to the tune of CeeLo Green’s “Forget You.” It gets reprised.
Wig designer Kathy Pecevich’s creations are the show’s other chief asset. Ms. Pecevich’s inspired work includes a black plastic Eddie Munster helmet for Paul Ryan. The visualizations of Betsy DeVos, Mike Pence, Melania, Ivanka, Jared Kushner, and Bill and Hillary Clinton are all enhanced by Pecevich’s artistry.
Director Falzone’s brisk staging mines as much comedy and visual variety as possible, making this virtually unfunny 85 minute presentation bearable.
Stephen Smith’s costume design is an array of basic black garments that are wittily accessorized. This is most evident in the Hamilton-style, goofy opening number where Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Betsy Ross and Thomas Jefferson cavort in Colonial splendor.
Lighting and sound designer Shannon Epstein’s efforts ably realize the material.
For those upset at how the election turned out, Me the People may be mildly cathartic. As an entertainment it borders on being passable. Perhaps Trump’s unrepentant outrageousness is beyond a traditional send up.
Me the People: The Trump America Musical (through September 12, 2017)
The Triad, 158 West 72nd Street, in Manhattan
For tickets, call 212-279-4200 or visit http://www.methepeoplemusical.com
Running time: 85 minutes with no intermission
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