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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)


Mark Sanford Wins South Carolina Congressional Race: VIDEO

Sanford

Anti-gay, 'traditional marriage' defending, adulterous trespasser and Republican former Governor Mark Sanford has won his election to the 1st Congressional district House seat.

Said Sanford: "I just want to acknowledge a God not just of second chances, but of third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth chances ... because that's the reality of our shared humanity."

Congratulations, South Carolina.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mark Sanford Wins South Carolina Congressional Race: VIDEO" »


National Republicans Dump Mark Sanford

Following reports that his ex-wife caught him trespassing, the NRCC has cut ties with former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who is running for a special 1st District Congressional seat, Politico reports:

SanfordBlindsided by news that Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing and concluding he has no plausible path to victory, the National Republican Congressional Committee has decided not to spend more money on Sanford’s behalf ahead of the May 7 special election.

“Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election,” said Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman.


Mark Sanford's Ex-Wife Allegedly Caught Him Trespassing

It looks as though anti-gay, 'traditional marriage' defending, Republican former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who left office over and extramarital affair and is now running in a special election for the state's 1st Congressional District seat, may be toast again.

SanfordThe AP reports:

Documents acquired by The Associated Press Tuesday say Jenny Sanford confronted her ex-husband leaving her South Carolina home on Feb. 3. Her attorney filed a complaint the next day and she confirms the documents are authentic.

In them, she says he was using his cellphone as a flashlight as he left. The couple's divorce settlement says neither may enter the other's home without permission.

Sanford has been ordered to appear in court two days after his election.


Anti-Gay Ex-Gov. Mark Sanford Gets Engaged

The anti-marriage equality, anti-gay adoption, anti-civil union, pro-constitutional-amendment-defining-marriage-as-the-union-of-one-man-and-one-woman, Republican former governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, is getting married again.

Nm_mark_sanford_110127_mnGov. Sanford proposed to his girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur, in Argentina on Wednesday. Argentina, please recall, is where Gov. Sanford really was when he disappeared from the governor's office for several days in 2009, after telling a few staffers he was going to "hike the Appalachian trail." He wasn't hiking. He was visiting Ms. Chapur, a commodities broker, with whom he'd been carrying on an affair for at least a year. After the affair became public, Gov. Sanford was nearly impeached, and his wife divorced him.

Gov. Sanford's proposal reportedly came as a surprise to Ms. Chapur, arriving in the middle of lunch at a restaurant called Bella Italia Grill, in Buenos Aires. From The Daily Caller:

... [the] restaurant [is] a favorite of journalists and business executives. Sanford reportedly arrived early and handed the ring in a bag, or pouch, to one of the servers. Sanford then hid himself in the handicapped bathroom for more than an hour before Chapur arrived.

The server approached Chapur and presented her with the pouch, saying that she had won an award for being the hundredth customer of the day. Chapur reportedly opened the pouch and found the ring, and looked confused. Sanford then appeared from his hiding spot and declared his love for her.

... the couple then kissed, cried and promised to love each other forever.


SC Lt. Governor Andre Bauer: Gay Talk is Improper, Ridiculous, Silly

South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer was asked by SCBD Charleston about rumors he is gay.

Bauer Said Bauer: “I don’t think it’s a proper question. I think it’s a little bit ridiculous and it’s sad that politics has gotten to that. But if somebody had a question I don't have a problem with going ahead and airing it and getting it out of the way because I don't want that to linger, much like this other problem is lingering. I want to move forward. I want to talk about real issues, how to get improved job growth. How you get education to a better level than it is now, how you fix the budget problem that we've got — not continue to dwell on some silly question in the first place."

Blogger/activist Mike Rogers, who has a long record of accuracy on outing hypocritical politicians, recently said Bauer was gay on Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius radio show. State Senator Jake Knotts claims the rumors are a part of a smear campaign by sitting governor Mark Sanford.

Should Sanford step down in the wake of his extramarital affair scandal, anti-gay Bauer is poised to take his role.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "SC Lt. Governor Andre Bauer: Gay Talk is Improper, Ridiculous, Silly" »


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