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Political Sex Scandal Comedy ‘Tail! Spin!’ Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW

TSArnieBurtonRachelDratchSeanDuganandTomGalantich

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

You probably read about them right here, but how sufficiently did you relish in the salacious details of our past decade’s worth of civic sex-capades? Hoopla over Anthony Weiner’s dick pics and Larry Craig’s bathroom-stall cruising has long since been snuffed out the whirl of our 24-hour news cycle, but flipping back through the archives proves to be a trip in Tail! Spin!, a raunchy new comedy that opened Off Broadway Wednesday at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre.

TSSeanDuganArnieBurtonNateSmithTomGalantichandRachelDratchAssembled from actual transcripts (interviews, tweets, Facebook messages, etc.) by playwright Mario Correa, the sketch-style show, directed by Dan Knechtges, runs through four such public embarrassments in its swift 75 minutes. With an overarching punch line of “you can’t make this sh*t up,” the show proves that sometimes the bare facts are farce enough on their own.

With a cast of five, including SNL vet Rachel Dratch, the show sends up the lewd foibles of Weiner, Craig, and both Mark Sanford and Mark Foley, splicing together the pol’s public denials and apologies with their baldly incriminating actions and conversations. Statements are cleverly juxtaposed to beget dirty puns and innuendo and there’s knee-slapping humor in seeing the men’s duplicity made glaring.

TSNateSmithEach of four actors takes on one of the fallen officials, savoring their deceptions and missteps while mostly steering clear of cheesy impersonations. Nate Smith brings a suitably smarmy sex appeal to Weiner and Arnie Burton balances charm and sleaze in Foley’s instant message teen romance. Ms. Dratch flits seamlessly between many roles, milking laughs from the posturing of wives who stood by their disgraced grooms and those who didn’t. Fans of the spastic comedian will also be delighted that Barbara Walters makes a memorable cameo in Sanford’s extramarital meltdown.

There was a time (not so long ago) when every day seemed to deliver another red-faced politician zipping up his trousers in the news, so that new stories no longer warranted the bat of an eye. Tail! Spin! aims to snap us out of that desensitivity by asking for a bit of retrospective pearl clutching. There’s a certain nostalgia now, too, in looking back on these whipping boys, for headlines less saturated with war, deadly plague and civil unrest.

TSNateSmithArnieBurtonRachelDratchSeanDuganandTomGalantichBut while it deals in the simple facts, Correa’s play makes little effort to morally distinguish between the natural and rather ordinary sexual impulses of its subjects and the lies they fed the press—it seems quite happy to shame the leaders for both. Even granted these are privileged, white men, the underlying slut-shaming tone ultimately feels a bit problematic: It’s not Craig and Foley’s gay desires or Weiner and Sanford’s infidelities that deserve our (presumably liberal) derision.

We expect our elected officials, like our celebrities, to be better and different—not to have, say, naked selfies on their iClouds like everyone else. That we’re shocked when they prove us wrong only speaks to our own delusions. What’s really on trial here is that politicians lie, which of course is news to no one, but laughing it off sure is cathartic. 

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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: carol rosegg)


Lawrence O'Donnell Asks Anthony Weiner 'What is Wrong With You?' - VIDEO

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Lawrence O'Donnell conducted a bizarre interview with NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner last night which began with "one basic question."

"What is wrong with you?"

What did O'Donnell mean by that?

"What I find strange about your campaign is what seems to be your absolute desperate need for elective office and what seems to be your inability to live outside of it?"

Watch the strange, though highly-watchable TV, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lawrence O'Donnell Asks Anthony Weiner 'What is Wrong With You?' - VIDEO" »


Anthony Weiner Gets in Shouting Match with Voter Over 'Deviant Behavior': VIDEO

Weiner

At a campaign stop in Borough Park, NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got in a shouting match with a voter:

Said the voter: "You have the nerve to even walk around in public. You're disgusting...Your behavior is deviant. It's not normal behavior...It's disgusting...It's immoral...Think about your wife. Right, how could you take the person you're most closest to — and trusts you — and betray her? Think about that."

Responded Weiner: "You know who judges me? Not you. You don't get to judge me because you've shown no sign you're superior to me and you are not my god."

Watch (with updated video), AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: What set Weiner off? The voter said "You're married to an Arab".

Continue reading "Anthony Weiner Gets in Shouting Match with Voter Over 'Deviant Behavior': VIDEO" »


The Daily Show's John Oliver Gets Frisky With The City Of New York- VIDEO

Frisky Business


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
 may still be missing its traditional host, but it certainly hasn't lost a step with regard to its mission to hilariously and aptly comment on the current state of American politics. The show's interim host, John Oliver, has already taken on the likes of Florida, France, and the Supreme Court with relative ease. In this most recent clip, his attention returns to New York City, where he takes on a series of different targets in one fell swoop. 

The segment itself centers around NYPD's "Stop and Frisk" policy, which allows police officers to temporarily detain and search anyone in the city with or without cause. In Oliver's own words:

"For years, opinion has been divided on Stop and Frisk with black and Latino residents of this city saying it's an invasion of their liberty and with white residents saying 'oh, I think I heard a thing about that on NPR'...It's basically like catch and release fishing, except you get to feel the fish up and shout at it a bit before throwing it back. Also, almost all the fish are brown."

Now, an NYC judge is declaring the policy unconstitutional, calling it "indirect racial profiling". She did not, however, mandate that the program be abandoned completely. Rather, she calls for increased oversight of the program by the federal government, and suggested the possible use of "body cameras" to assist with that task. This new combination of New York City and body cameras caused Oliver to temporarily direct his attention towards another target: Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner. Apparently, Weiner advocated use of said cameras even before this most recent judicial opinion.

"You heard right," said Oliver, "Weiner is suggesting body cameras facing out."

Watch the entire monologue AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Daily Show's John Oliver Gets Frisky With The City Of New York- VIDEO" »


NEWS: Turner Field, Drug Sentences, The Deficit, Clinton 2016, Musicians, and Superheroes

 Road President Obama has announced the leader of its new independent committee that will be investigating potential ethics violations by the nation's surveillance programs. At the head of the committee is James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who has already previously misled Congress. Turnerfield

Road A Georgia man fell to his death last night at Atlanta's Turner Field during a match-up between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Road US Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that he will work to cut mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, stating that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long."

Road Current peace talks taking place between Israel and Palestine are facing potential problems as 26 long-term prisoners were moved by Israeli officials shortly before their release.

 Road North Dakota's U.S. attorney Timothy Purdon addressed a crowd of hundreds during a recent joint Pride Celebration hosted by Fargo and Moorhead, MN. During his impassioned speech, he told the state's LGBT citizens point-blank: "you have an ally". 

Road The U.S. Government announced yesterday that its budget deficit through July of next year will be 37.6 percent, and that the budget starting in September 2014 is on its way to having the smallest deficit in five years. 

Road Rihanna and Katy Perry recently reunited during a restaurant opening in NYC. No word yet as to whether there were any more "quasi-bi" antics this time around. 

Road Anthony Weiner, intentionally or not, teased a 2016 bid by Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, telling Buzzfeed that he "knows his wife's role" in the upcoming campaign. 

Road Adele is currently in talks to make a cameo appearance in Mathew Vaughn's upcoming film The Secret Service. If successful, she will be appearing in the film alongside David Beckham and Elton John. 

Road Those wishing to partake of fried food without the sting of racism can breathe a little easier

Road The Wanted released a new music video. Apparently, they also own the night. Who knew? Batman Wedding

Road Lady Gaga committed another possible fashion faux-pas in her quest to obtain even more "Applause". 

Road Meanwhile, Madonna was possibly channelling her uber-butch self a little too much during a recent paintball game. 

Road Breaking Bad continues with its ultra-violent final season.

Road Robert Downey, Jr continues to roll in it after new endorsement deals follow him after his successes with The Avengers and Iron Man 3

Road Torn between you love for your hubby and your love for Batman? Can't decide how to properly honor them both. Just do what these two guys did!


Anthony Weiner Mocks British ITV Reporter, Wonders if He's in Monty Python Skit: VIDEO

Weiner

NYC mayoral candidate and chronic sexter Anthony Weiner had a bizarre exchange with ITV reporter Lucy Watcon yesterday, CNN reports:

"It's hard to take you seriously," he said after being asked whether he was pursuing his New York City mayoral bid out of "ambition" or "hunger for the job." He then appears to repeat her question in a British accent.

Standing with his hands on his hips, Weiner jokingly sneered as the ITV reporter, Lucy Watson, asked how he plans to carry out his political campaign following his admission last month that he continued to send lewd messages following his 2011 congressional resignation.

Asked if anything could stop him, Weiner replied: "I just have a feeling I've like stepped into a Monty Python bit."

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, Christine Quinn leads in the latest NYT poll:

But just over a month before the Sept. 10 primary, Ms. Quinn is still well below the level needed to avoid a runoff, and many voters remain undecided.

Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, is backed by 25 percent of Democratic voters, followed by 16 percent for William C. Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller, and 14 percent for Bill de Blasio, the public advocate.

Anthony D. Weiner garners the support of 10 percent of Democratic voters, confirming his slippage in the race that other surveys have also recorded since revelations that he continued to have sexually explicit exchanges with women online after he resigned from Congress two years ago. The remaining candidates in the poll each drew less than 5 percent; 26 percent of the Democratic voters surveyed were undecided.

Continue reading "Anthony Weiner Mocks British ITV Reporter, Wonders if He's in Monty Python Skit: VIDEO" »


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