The Passion of George W. Bush
nytheatre.com review by David Fuller
August 15, 2004
The Passion of George W. Bush is for Republicans and Democrats alike. Yes, it makes fun of our current President. Yes, he is labeled an illiterate idiot and made out to be a puppet of Dick Cheney. Yes, the current administration is made out to be a conniving profit-motivated lot of scoundrels. But The Passion of George W. Bush has an actual dramaturgical throughline which ultimately paints “W” as a hero of the masses. I won’t go into detail here, as you ought to be surprised. And you ought to go. Now.
All the elements here coalesce into a fine production: the director Simon Hammerstein, the choreographer Dontee Kiehn, the rock combo led by Jana Zielonka, and the terrific cast—Craig Baldwin, Charles Browning, Chad Coudriet, Thursday Farrar, Michael Gladis, Jennifer Houseal, Shannon Polly, Jonathan Putterman and Colin Stokes. Kudos to the authors: book and lyrics by John Herin and Adam B. Mathias; music by Alden Terry. They have created an edgy satire with a message using a rock score that supports the material without overwhelming it.
This intermissionless romp is ninety minutes of pure fun. In this election season, it is a great reminder that we ought not take ourselves too seriously but that we ought to take our elections seriously.