'Clinton: The Musical' gets U.S. debut at NY theater festival

Tue Jul 8, 2014 8:03am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Clinton: The Musical," a bawdy, raucous farce parodying the sex scandal that rocked the White House, with two actors portraying the dual sides of Bill Clinton, makes its U.S. debut this month during the New York Musical Theater Festival.

Critics have described the show that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in 2012 before transferring to London as "witty, quirky" and a "delicious political satire."

The musical depicts Bill and Hillary Clinton's attempts to save the presidency following his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

"Our play is a loving poke at Bill Clinton," Duke LaFoon, who portrays the Bill who gets into trouble, said at a preview. "He is quite the character, so there is a lot there to mine for jokes."

Karl Kenzler, as WJ Clinton, is the idealistic politician who genuinely wants to change the country and help his fellow man.

"Ultimately this show is a sharp farce. It's a parody and people make a lot of comparisons to 'South Park' and 'The Book of Mormon'," Kenzler said, referring to the TV comedy and hit Broadway play.

Written by Australian brothers Paul and Michael Hodge, the show has performances between July 18 and 25th at the festival, a showcase for new musicals.

The musical premieres in New York following publication of Hillary Clinton's memoir "Hard Choices," with the country guessing about whether she will run for president in 2016.   Continued...

(L-R) Actors Natalie Gallo as former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Karl Kenzler as former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Alet Taylor as former first lady and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton practice a piece from 'Clinton: The Musical' in the hallway before the New York Musical Theatre Festival  preview in New York July 2, 2014.       REUTERS/Carlo Allegri