It's almost here. The day that most of the country can't wait for: election day, when we will choose who will replace President Bush (love him or hate him). In case the constant media coverage isn't enough, Nero Fiddled is presenting a fun new musical, Life After Bush, in which a cast of familiar politicians and other temporary celebrities guides us through the primaries all the way up to that future fateful day. Although the topic is getting tired at this late stage, the show is able to make current events seem fresh and invigorating again, reminding us that, come what may, on election day, we all have a responsibility to ensure that America can be the best country it can be. Life After Bush is a series of short scenes and musical numbers. The first scene presents America as a patient suffering from a bad case of “Bush.” However, it may be all uphill from there, as she soon meets the superhero Barack Obama (Tarik Davis, clad in spandex and a cape). The scenes are chronological, depicting the events of the past few months using caricatures. President Bush wears a giant, somewhat distracting, foam cowboy hat as he struggles to floss his teeth and delights in Cadbury crème eggs. The material is mostly ripped right from the headlines. In a standout number, former presidential nominee Rudy Giuliani sings about how he is “9/11 Rudy”, echoing Joseph Biden's statement that all Giuliani's sentences contain “a noun, a verb, and 9/11.” In another scene, John Hagee and Jeremiah Wright, while waiting for a bus, discuss the Bible and candidate endorsement.
Don't think that the musical is all wicked satire and fun, though. One scene features a woman ripping up a piece of paper which has “Roe Vs. Wade” written upon it, as the laws and judgments passed that have eroded the original decision away are recited. What is left is a shred of the original decision. The scene feels a little out of place in a world where Dick Cheney is a snarling dog and “Al Qaeda in Iraq” is two chorus girls. However, the show doesn't stay in the land of seriousness too long, as an advertisement for “Abortion Land,” a spa where two for one abortions are offered, quickly follows.
The musical wears its politics on its sleeve—it's unlikely to find an audience of McCain supporters or even anyone who is undecided in their politics. Yet, even a full fledged Obama supporter might groan at the idea of yet another spoof on the what the Republican party hath wrought. However, the show never feels like a progressive hammer, pounding the same jokes about Bush and the last eight years into its audience's head. The message is obvious, but the delivery is light.
The run up to the presidential election is wearing on us all, as candidates resort to personal attacks and media coverage becomes incessant. i>Life After Bush is just what the doctor ordered to inject a bit of jazzy humor into the proceedings.