BWW Review: Comically Raging Politicians Take the Stage in 13th Street Rep's THE JERRY DUNCAN SHOW
Are you a fan of politics and the constant tension of these dueling sides - tension that is comparable to that of the virus? Are you tired of keeping a straight face while watching said politicians duke it out? Do you happen to revel in seeing these people brought to shame by an instigative radio host who [in the meantime] must endure ongoing visits from his deceased mother? Then you're in luck! If the current (and future) state of affairs is enough to drive you slightly bonkers, where else to go for some comic relief than the theater - specifically the 13th Street Repertory Theater, where The Jerry Duncan Show is doling out much needed laughs at the iconic West Village venue for two weeks only.
The Jerry Duncan Show is the result of a great collaboration between playwright Dean B. Kaner and Director Joe John Battista, who has already led many shows at the 13th Street Rep. to success. Jerry Duncan draws its inspiration from the political humor magazine Humor Times, which urges its readers to put the current political situation in the perfect light: "Don't cry about the news, laugh about it!" And that's exactly what it manages to do when transposed onto the stage, bringing politicians (with a surprise appearance by the Pope) in all their misshapen glory to the general public. Come for the political satire, offbeat characters and a glass of red wine, and stay for the realization that, no matter which side you're on, no one in this race we call politics is perfect.
In fact, these candidates are quite the characters themselves, and now having found their stage, bring their antics forward and provide a bit of levity to an otherwise tense situation.
With a plot that's full of life but slightly out there, The Jerry Duncan Show maintains an impressive momentum as Jerry Duncan, host to a questionably popular radio show, interviews politicians of past and present; "interviews", though, may be too strong a word for what actually happens when they cross the line into Duncan territory. From Donald Trump to Elizabeth Warren and Sarah Palin to Rudy Giuliani, nothing is off-limits as he grills his guests for answers to the most inappropriate of questions... aka, everyone's innermost thoughts. Whereas many hosts practice discretion and professionalism, Jerry uses some hardcore tactics to provoke everything from foul language to Chelsea Clinton's and Ivanka Trump's blooming bond over a friendship bracelet.
With an intern who will do pretty much anything to impress his boss and a mother who pays him daily visits from the afterlife, The Jerry Duncan Show is quite the experience. Whether the mere mention of the word "politics" leaves a bad taste in your mouth or you revel in the potential of a good political argument any chance you get, this show is sure to delight.
Kaner's show is not just comprised of multiple jibes at candidates who, in their own way, already do well in entertaining the general public; it has a bit of layering to it that makes the audience question not only those who have (and will potentially) run the country, but also people on the other side of the equation (or, in this case, the curtain) - people like Jerry Duncan. In this topsy-turvy world a la Saturday Night Live, where political leaders seem barely capable of running the show, Jerry is a pro at doing just that but is truly in no better shape.
Thirty-eight, single and living in a studio apartment strewn with beer cans, Jerry doesn't take life too seriously; not even seeing his mother from beyond the grave gives him any cause for concern. Sort of existential in nature, this world of wacky politicians brings with it an equally wacky talk show host, making this whole scenario both comical but questionable. Is it meant for simple laughs, or is a commentary on the people these politicians seek to win the favor of? Is anyone actually in control of anything, or is it all just a show?
Just putting a few thoughts out there and trying, like many, to view our world's future in a more positive light.
Kudos to all those involved in bringing this production and colorful cast of characters to the stage. Eric Tonken, Thami Moscovici, Paige Susan Anderson, Michael Donato, Bobby Temple and Joe Battista round out this talented crew that brings The Jerry Duncan Show to the stage. Behind the scenes are Wendy Tonken (Assistant Artistic Director), John Phelps (video), Lighting/Sound Designer and Stage Manager Marsh Shugart (who always leaves his mark on a production with his skills in the booth), Everett Clark (Production Assistant) and Talar Manuelian (crew member).
The Jerry Duncsn Show, produced by Dean and Donna Kaner, began performances at the 13th Street Repertory Theater (located at 50 West 13th Street) on March 5th, and will continue thru March 15th. Tickets can be purchased by calling Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006 or by clicking here. Remaining performances are March 12th, 13th and 14th @ 7:30 pm and March 15th at 4:00 pm. Please also take a look at Humor Times here to see where it all started and prolong the laughter.
Enjoy the show!