An off-Broadway musical about Bill and Hillary Clinton will open in New York this spring.
Producers announced this week that “Clinton The Musical” — a hit at last summer’s New York Musical Theatre Festival — will come to New World Stages with previews beginning March 26 for an April 9 opening, Lohud.com said.
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The musical satirizes Chappaqua’s most-famous couple, putting them back in the White House during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. But rather than one commander-in-chief, two actors will play the 42nd president — one the presidential “W.J. Clinton, ” the other a randy, fun-loving “Billy”, the report said.
The show won critical acclaim at the festival, with The New York Times calling it a “hilarious madcap political farce, ” the Washington Post reported.
“We’ve got the Saturday night Bill and the Sunday morning president, ” said producer Kari Lynn Hearn. “We’ve got two Bills, but there are really two sides to every story, whether it’s Newt (Gingrich) or Kenneth Starr or Hillary or Monica (Lewinsky)”, according to Lohud.com.
“Hillary is the only one who can see both sides, and the conflict between them, ” Hearn said. The script has been changed, with songs removed and added. “Even though it’s a parody and satire, we’ve added heart since the (theater festival) show. And it’s palpable”, she added, according to the report.
“I wouldn’t say there’s pity, ” Hearn said. “I don’t think Hillary is a character, in general, that warrants the pity. She doesn’t allow it. But it allows us to see the human side. She was criticized for taking him back. As a woman, I think we all have to say, ‘You know what? There are two sides to every story. What we see in the press is not necessarily what’s going on at home.’”
The cast for the musical, which was written by Australian brothers Paul and Michael Hodge has not been set.
No matter your political leaning, Hearn said, Bill Clinton is a brilliant politician and here he wrestles with that other side of himself, the side that gets him in trouble, the website said.
Hearn said she has no concerns the musical, which will be directed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges and is not suitable to those younger than 13, will be seen as a political document as the nation enters its next political season, one that might include a Clinton back on the ballot, according to the report.
“While it’s called ‘Clinton the Musical, ’ it’s an equal opportunity show for both sides to come and be able to laugh at the political process, ” she said. “It just happened to take place during the Clinton Era”, she added, the website said.