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THE CAMPAIGN BY MARILYN QUAYLE AND HER SISTER AND THEATER OOBLECK, Theater Oobleck, at the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe. If any show captures the absurd reality of the current presidential race and the hypocrisy inherent in American democracy, it’s Theater Oobleck’s, as the former vice president’s wife, Marilyn Quayle, and a troupe of actors seek to bring her literary work The Campaign (yes, the Oobleck ensemble acknowledge their plagiarism) to the stage. The abysmal text is only a point of departure, however; this play within many plays takes us on a wild ride through a race in which Clinton uses a time machine to clear up his blemished record and Dole overcomes rigor mortis to challenge him. In one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen, Oobleck plays with our perceptions of reality and takes this glimpse into politicians’ lives to a point beyond satire; as in Brecht’s work, after the laughter we must look at ourselves critically.
The writers and actors behind The Campaign deserve recognition for their sharp text and delivery. Danny Thompson has the manic brilliance of Robin Williams at his best, energetically switching from Walter, a genius-child living in the White House basement, to a dead-on depiction of Clinton as zesty, greasy, wonderfully American wheeler-dealer. His fellow players all keep up, from David Isaacson, who flip-flops hilariously between Marilyn Quayle and Al Gore, to Amy Ludwig, who does an uncanny take on Elizabeth Dole. Catch this show on its whistle-stop tour through the city: it’s a feather in the cap of democracy.
–Gabrielle S. Kaplan