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'Clinton' Musical Brings Comic Take on Bill, Hillary, Monica and Newt to New York

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Jun 23, 2014 05:38 PM EDT

Clinton: The Musical, a Best New Musical nominee at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is coming to the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) next month. A one-act in Edinburgh, the show expanded to a full two-act version for a run last year at London's King's Head Theatre.

One critic called the musical by Australian brothers Paul Hodge (book, music and lyrics) and Michael Hodge (book) a "painfully funny piece of delicious political satire." "Hilarious in its irreverence," said another.

After reading the former President's autobiography, the Hodge brothers decided they needed to present two of him: the Bill Clinton who sought instant gratification, and the famously empathetic Bill Clinton. Clinton: The Musical follows the pair and Hillary as they try to save their presidency and change America. Monica Lewinsky, Dick Morris, and Clinton nemeses Newt Gingrich and Kenneth Starr also make appearances, along with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Directed by Adam Arian with musical direction by James Dobinson and choreography by Emily McNamara, it will run July 18-25 at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center.

The cast includes Karl Kenzler (Mary Poppins and Twelve Angry Men on Broadway) as WJ Clinton; Duke LaFoon (MONICA! The Musical, A Wonderful Life) as Billy Clinton; Alet Taylor (One Touch of Venus, The Producers tour) as Hillary Rodham Clinton; Tom Souhrada (Mary Poppins on Broadway) as Newt Gingrich; and Natalie Gallo (Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia on Broadway) as Monica Lewinsky.

This year's NYMF presents 24 musicals, along with concerts, readings and special events. Along from Presidents, topics include zombies, robots, illegal immigration, Rachel Carson, Oprah Winfrey and a present-day high school girl transported magically to the Verona of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. There are also fairy tales, clones, and Civil War veterans, plus, appropriately enough given the presence of Clinton, a show about a political scandal fixer called Propaganda! The Musical. The festival runs July 7-27.

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TagsBill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Newt Gingrich, Musical, musical theater, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Off-Broadway

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