A new comedy is coming to off-Broadway — and it will make you laugh about the current state of the United States Presidency.
And yes, you CAN laugh about it, according to the show’s writer, Nancy Holson.
Holson, an Emmy-winner who has been writing political satire for 25 years, says her latest work “Me the People,” a Trump satire, is different than the rest.
“We are in really desperate situation. I feel like it’s really important now — boy, it’s important to speak out,” she told the Daily News.
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“In all the time I’ve been doing this I’ve never seen the need for it this deep and the response really shows that, I hope, anybody whose feeling frustrated and feeling like this is something they never could laugh at would give it a chance and come because it will bring them some sense of relief.”
“Me the People” opened on June 29, but changes every night based on the changing administration.
Here’s what Holson had to say about “The Trump America Musical,” which takes a critical look at the “quirks and nuttiness” of how the POTUS operates.
(Answers may have been edited and condensed for clarity)
How do you make a satire about Donald Trump — a man whose every action is turned into a meme and every tweet is relentlessly reported on?
Yeah that’s the biggest challenge for us I think. It feels like a satire already, so how do you satirize it? And how do you find the humor in something when you feel like it’s so dark? That was our challenge, but I think we met it. How? You find the weaknesses and kind of exploit them.
One of the things we’ve done, is we tell things from different points of view. I mean that sounds clinical, but it actually makes it really pretty funny.
For example, we are talking about all the different laws that he’s breaking and the potential for being impeached and we tell that from Nixon’s point of view and Nixon is really kind of like envious that Trump has done it even better than he has. So there are all kinds of ways we find the comedy in it.
How have viewers been reacting? Is it meant to be an escape or a reality check?
We talked a lot about this before we really took pen to paper. I initially wanted it to be something that was hopeful and uplifting and try to channel frustration into action but I think that might be a bit too idealistic.
Truly where we ended up with that we’re in a room with like-minded people and for 90 minutes you really can laugh. You don’t think you can, but you really can. You can laugh at the situation that we find ourselves in and at the end of the evening there’s really a release.
Many people have talked to us about it builds a kind of catharsis and what we’re hoping to do is have 90 minutes of relief and release. Hopefully that helps to get us through the next few days.
What do you think Trump would tweet about this musical if he saw it?
Well I can say that I don’t think he’d like it. As badly as he tweeted about Jeff Sessions I think it would be way worse for us.
How long have you been working on the production and how much do you have to amend based on the constant changes in the administration and Trump’s continued tweet firestorms?
I’ve been doing this a long time. During the campaign people were suggesting, “you got to do this,” “you gotta be writing about this” and I’m like “Nah, Hillary’s going to win, it’s going to be fine.” After Election Day, it started to boil up that, “wow anybody who has any kind of platform better use it.” Really the day after inauguration was the Women’s March and the next day I put pen to paper.
We did this really fast, we were really inspired. After all the years of doing political satire, I’ve never been this inspired. We are in situation everybody needs to speak out now. We’re changing it as we need to, I can tell you Reince Priebus departure is already going to be in tonight’s show.
After the controversy surrounding the Shakespeare in the Park play depicting Trump as Julius Caesar, were you any more hesitant to produce the musical and do you think you’ll face similar backlash?
No. I feel like I’m on a mission and it just needed to be done. People, I believe, have to speak out… we are exercising our constitutional duty, I think, and our obligation to the country we love.
“Me the People” is currently running at The Triad theater and a closing date has yet to be determined.
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