created and performed by: Company Mud of Marymount College
directed by: Liz Swados

Performance Schedule:
April 19-22, 2001
The Club
Thursday - Saturday at 10:00pm
Sunday 5:30pm

The mining, oil and banking interests have finally taken over the government in a virtual coup d'etat, but relax folks, that's only the downside. The upside is, we finally have a genuinely funny president! Upside number two is that a few young people would rather develop political theater than show off their leather pants and chase dot-coms. They include Company Mud, a troupe formed at Manhattan's Marymount College under the direction of Elizabeth Swados, which acquitted itself so nicely in a private performance of "The Golem" last year at La MaMa that they were invited by Ellen Stewart to return this year in a new show.

"A Political Revue (Subliminable Strategeries)" is about 60% White House humor, for the very good reason that the follies and dualities of the people in power today are so perfect. It is also about the Mideast, drugs (Ecstasy), race issues, women's circumcision, Goth styles, Mad Cows, Ashcroft, AIDS, body image and American pop culture. The revue is entirely the creation of its cast, who researched it, wrote it, staged it and choreographed it. Elizabeth Swados is the author/director of such memorable productions as "The Hating Pot" three years ago (which became a PBS documentary) and "The Violence Project" last summer. She writes: "My contribution was to offer up a few songs and contribute to figuring out what was the most appropriate material." Rehearsal began long before the election and the finished piece reflects the feeling, shared by most of the 19 to 24 year-old cast, of being politicized by it. "We are all tired," says cast member Nicole Newton, "of having to learn everything so fast, of sensationalist news shows and assultive materialism. We resent all the broadsides of the smoking industry--it's all aimed at college kids. And we resent people becoming sellouts." In general, the show is smarter than Saturday Night Live.

It also features such ingenious contrivances as a boot camp for presidential candidates' wives and a mosh pit singing "America."
Swados has been acclaimed as a leading creator of works for younger actors since her Broadway hit, “Runaways.” She began her professional career as a composer at La MaMa, where she worked with Peter Brook and Andrei Serban and won her first Obie at age 21 for setting “Medea” to ethnic music. Her memorable La MaMa productions include “Fragments of a Greek Trilogy” with Serban, “Crow” with Robbie Anton and the opera-oratorio “Jerusalem.” Other well-known productions by her include “Nightclub Cantata,” “The Red Sneaks,” “Rap Master Ronnie,” “Esther,” “The Haggadah,” “Dispatches,” “Alice in Concert,” “The Beautiful Lady,” “The Hating Pot,” "Missionaries" and “The Bible Women.” In 1996, she directed a pair of her own musicals, "Doonesbury Flashbacks," based on Garry Trudeau's comic strip, and "The Emperor's New Clothes" based loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, at La MaMa. Swados just finished a dramatic song cycle, "Women Of Valor," based on the lives of fifteen historic women, and an opera based on the story of Judas. She is currently preparing a score for "Seven Against Thebes," an adaptation of the classic play by Aeschylus, to be directed by Ellen Stewart and acted by the Great Jones Repertory at La MaMa April 27 to May 13.

Swados' most recent novel was "Flamboyánt," published by Picador Press. Her new children's book, "Hey, You! Com'ere!", will be issued soon by Scholastic Press.

The revue features additional songs by Nicole Floyd, a member of the company. The actors are Barthelemy Atsin, Frantz A. Boneau, Stefano V Brancato, Melissa Carrol, Alexandra Dale, Alana DiMaria, Nicole Floyd, Christopher Guidry, Drayton Hiers, Ryan Kasprzak, Rosaleen B. Knoepfel, Eric Kochmer, Matthew Lahliff, Marissa Lichwick, Molly McCann, Melissa Murray, Nicole Christine Newton, Gia Papini, Deirdre Sheppard and Robert Taylor. The show includes contributions from earlier cast members Zahava Ball, Thomas Dahl, Ian Darrah, Bronwyn Hopton and Jason Schmidt. Piano and vocal arrangements are by Michael Friedman. Set design is by Ray Recht. Costume design is by Chris Field. Lighting design is by Chris Dallos.
2001 page