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Off-Broadway Theatre Review

Clinton the Musical

Four Stars

Photo by Russ Rowland
Duke Lafoon as Billy Clinton & Tom Galantich as WJ Clinton in Clinton the Musical
Duke Lafoon as Billy Clinton & Tom Galantich as WJ Clinton
in Clinton the Musical

Review by Daniel Dunlow
10 April 2015

You read the title right. Clinton. Like Bill and Hillary. And from the moment I walked in and saw a set that was reminiscent of a Disney World version of the Oval Office, I thought I knew what I was in for. But oh boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

This 90-minute comedic musical captures the life of Bill and Hillary amidst the presidentís two terms in office, complete with WhiteWater, HealthCare Reform, and Monica. No situation is off limits, and no joke is too cheap. This musical plunges you in the middle of the 1990s, a simpler time with tracksuits, fat ties, and strangely shaped iPhones. It balances the line of stupidity and pure hilarity (Hillarity.) But is worth the trip to New World Stages. So lets get on to the points to be made.

The Set - first thing to catch my eye. It was absolutely brilliant. It made use of the space and got out of the way for comedic things to happen. Beowulf Boritt is no doubt a genius. If you look hard at the set, youíll see secret metaphors.

Music - negligible.

Lyrics - Hilarious!

Kerry Butler - She played Hillary. She was very strong in the role with great comedic instincts. Her voice is superb. Possibly the best singing she has ever done.

John Treacy Egan - My god. Heís frickiní hilarious. Heís perfect. Heís got a golden voice and a golden personality as Newt Gingrich.

Kevin Zak - Where have you been? NYC welcomes this comedic genius. His performance as Kenneth Starr is one to see and cherish.

Choreography - Could use some cutting. And by cutting, I mean all of it.

This brilliant comedy is filled with moments that made me and the entire audience laugh out loud and ask ourselves, ďCan they say that?) It captures so much that we love about musical comedy. Despite itís minor flaws of production here and there, it is a divine vehicle for amazing performances and some of the best musical comedy New York has seen in quite some time. The last time I laughed this hard at the theatre was a High School production of ďA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,Ē but that laughter was for different reasons.

It respectfully runs the gamut of the Clinton family, using a Jekyll & Hyde type storytelling, and it leaves no door unopened. This musical also takes itís time to remind the New York Theatre Community (as if it needed reminder) that we should vote for Hillary in 2016. So... Vote for Hillary and check out this great musical.

(Daniel Dunlow)

What the popular press said...

"Most of the humor is painfully dumb and crass, though you could argue that it reflects the go-go Clinton years and their randy figurehead."
Elisabeth Vincentelli for New York Post

External links to full reviews from popular press...

New York Post

Production Details
Venue: New World Stages
Genre: Musical Comedy
Previewed: 26 Mar 2015
Opened: 09 Apr 2015
Closed: 21 Jun 2015
Book, Music & Lyrics: Paul Hodge & Michael Hodge
Director: Dan Knechtges

Synopsis: The show explores the two very different sides of the 42nd President of the United States: 'WJ,' the wholesome, intelligent one, and 'Billy,' the randy, charming one. With Hillary (Rodham) Clinton at their side, the two will handle issues from The White House to Whitewater, the sax to the sex, social security to social climbers, and in the process make history. Maybe.

Cast: Tom Galantich (President 'WJ' Clinton), Duke LaFoon ('Billy' Clinton), Kerry Butler (Hilary Clinton), Judy Gold (Eleanor Roosevelt), John Treacy Egan (Newt Gingrich), Veronica Kuehn (Monica Lewinsky), Kevin Zak (Kenneth Starr), with Kara Guy, Dale Hensley, Rob Richardson, and Gretchen Wylder


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