Theatre sometimes has a hard time staying topical. It takes time to write a script, find production support, rent a venue, and rehearse a play. Once you are ready to put up your play, a once relevant topic can sometimes not longer be the hot item especially in today's era where our national media attention span is so short. Most of the relevant commentary on current events is done by the newscasters and the late night hosts. Thank goodness for disgraced, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich; he just won't go away that easily. Chicago's premier sketch comedy, troupe The Second City, has seized the moment and created a short musical for the ages: Rod Blagojevich Superstar.
The off-night show combines the over-the-top religious rock operas of the 1970's (namely Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell) with the over-the-top political news that has rocked Illinois over the past few weeks. All the melodrama and conniving seems well framed within the frame of the rock-musical genre. You can hear a preview of some of the music in a story done on NPR. Huge applause to The Second City for taking on something so topical and having the resolve to make sure that it was written and produced in two weeks.
Happy Birthday: Julia McKenzie (b. 1941)