When librarian Dody Dotson notices Laura Bush signaling "Help Me" in Morse code with her eye blinks on television, she enlists the help of the local prostitute to help her rescue/kidnap the First Lady. Through encounters with Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton in blackface and the spirit of Bill Clinton, they uncover a behind-the-scenes plot so ridiculous, so offensive and so evil that it might actually be true.
Profound and puerile in equal measure, Martinís trademark dark and biting wit elevates this raunchy and irreverent cabaret-style romp to cheeseburger-couture.
Revolution is afoot in Silo City, Kan. Librarian Dody Dotson has enlisted sex worker Desiree Jones in a covert operation to rescue Laura Bush, whose Morse coded blinks for help have driven Dody to desperate measures. Mission accomplished, the trio retreats to Peter Pan's underground treehouse ó hidden in the Heartland, imagine that. In the ensuing sorority sleepover, Bush reveals shocking secrets, Dody goes Alice B.
Toklas-y, and Desiree passes out. Meanwhile, human projectiles for a new American century descend upon their shrub-marked hide-out.
That vegetative signpost provides the title of "Laura's Bush," playing late Friday nights at Sacred Fools, part of a nine-city national premiere. This grass-roots satire about delivering the first lady from imperial evil is a jaw-dropping dissident tract.
Credit this to the pseudonymous author, Jane Martin. The 1994 Pulitzer finalist (for
"Keely and Du") here turns her biting viewfinder on the national landscape, suggesting every Lorne Michaels sketch ever turned down by network censors.
The hilarious players are all going places. Shirley Anderson makes a sidesplitting misunderstood heroine, Simone de Beauvoir in Stepford guise. She, Gleason Bauer's Dody and Rebecca O'Brien's Desiree go for the comic jugular. Victor Isaac's prior White House occupant and Kate London's minstrel-show security advisor are audacity personified. Aldrich Allen follows up his sinister FBI duties in
"Dubya 2004" to cap things off as a manic Cabinet maniac.
Director John Wuchte keeps everyone in this un-PC madness on the same uproarious page. Proponents of both political parties will be bilious; parody fans will know they're not in Kansas anymore.
What a relief! It's just as many of us suspected: The unimaginably absurd goings-on inside the White House during the last four years are not really the direct result of a village idiot from Texas being handed the election. No, it's a complicated, neo-conservative plot involving switched identities, horrible Christian secrets, and misguided sexual loyalties. Or, as the luscious sex worker facing ennui at the sight of yet another dildo in Jane Martin's Laura's Bush puts it, "Men, naively, do not find their penises boring."
Martin's naughty and laugh-out-loud funny political satire is must-see fun and games for the entire country. Currently premiering from Coast to Coast, the play could not be more desirable than in the seductive package put out there by the go-for-broke Sacred Fools. Here, Director John Wuchte takes the short and sweet--albeit a bit messy, but most late-night treats are, eh?--"satyr play" by the balls. He's gets help from an equally fearless cast headed by a trio of women I'd follow into any polling booth. The flawless Rebecca O'Brien is Desiree Jones, a jaded dominatrix overflowing with sexuality and a world wisdom that pops out most unexpectedly. When approached by repressed librarian Dody Dotson (a picture-perfect Gleason Bauer), who's encrypted a plea of help from a televised Laura Bush, Desiree hardly hesitates. After all, like many citizens in our current climate, she developed political opinions out of necessity.
So it doesn't take long for the two vixens to completely shed their trepidation--and clothing--when forming a plan to rescue the seemingly Stepford-esque first lady, one which involves diving into, you got it, Laura's bush. Yeah, yeah, yeah. With Shirley Anderson right on target as Laura, these three actors are unstoppable. Sherry and strip poker turn the erstwhile political ploy into a pajama party where secrets are spilled, body parts fondled, and socially conscious buttons pushed. Sure, after Laura's Bush some may leave wanting a, well, deeper experience. But, for my money, Anderson's bawdy, clever foray into the inner workings of the Bush White House is satisfying in its own right. After all, to quote the surprisingly penetrating Desiree, "What's the difference between sex and politics? Either way I end up getting fucked!"