…and all the men and women merely players. So wrote William Shakespeare (or Christopher Marlowe, if you subscribe to that theory; or Family Guy, if you’re like my sons and get most of your cultural references from that show’s parodies). So much of what we do is for public show, from dressing for a special occasion to posting on Facebook to making a speech on the House floor. And you were wondering how I’d segue from theatre to politics!
Actually, politics and theatre have merged before, and not just in plays like The Best Man. I was lucky enough to see the 2012 all-star revival of Gore Vidal’s classic about the 1960 President primaries. I saw it with my boys, and they weren’t impressed by Angela Lansbury, Eric McCormack, Candace Bergen, or John Larroquette, but they loved seeing James Earl Jones, a.k.a. Darth Vader.
There have been a few musicals about politics, like 1776, Fiorello!, and The Cradle Will Rock. The list expands if you include the political undercurrents in Urinetown, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Evita, and so on. Meanwhile, Congress seems to be getting more and more theatrical, with hearings, speeches, and posturing taking the place of actual legislation.
So before someone beats me to the punch, I thought I’d better jump in and stake out my own territory.