and performed by: Company Mud of Marymount College
directed by: Liz Swados
Performance Schedule: April 19-22, 2001
Thursday - Saturday at 10:00pm
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
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.