"Obama- Spy Drama," a new musical comedy... you can tell from the title alone that this show is a tongue in cheek vessel, presented by brilliant theatre company, City in a Swamp, which also, in its clever wording, tells its own story, referring to its location in Washington DC. The playbill cleverly shows, on one side, all the wonderful characters: President Barack Obama; his wife, first lady Michelle; President Vladimir Putin; a prostitute; a spy operative from South America; a black Russian spy operative; Vice President Joe Biden; Carlos , an overzealous operative; and last but not least, Natasha, a Russian dominatrix. On the other side of the playbill, a picture is shown of the Capitol dome stuck in a swamp of mosquitoes and alligators.
This play is ever so timely and topical, with the basic plot of Obama scheming a plan to coerce and kidnap Edward Snowden. It is a wonderful collaboration by a company performing a long time in DC, as well as a set of newbies. The end result is a hilarious tribute/political satire, ala Saturday Night Live, or the comedy troupe, The Capitol Steps. It showcases all the absurd goings on in Washington. Matthew Harris (Obama), a veteran of the group, and Arielle Siler (Michelle) plot to kidnap Edward Snowden. The president collaborates with NSA partner, in cahoots with Carlos Peligro (an obvious play on words). They come up with a pheromone spray, powerful enough to induce one to be subservient under the spell. They hire a South American tart, played by wonderful actress Beth Triffon, to go over and 'do the job.' She does a dance to reveal her abilities, portraying herself as a very amorous chantreuse. In her attempt, she inadvertently sprays Putin (Christopher Robert Smith), and a spy drama of mistaken identity ensues. Putin falls madly in love with Snowden, and a comedy shtick follows between KGB operative (Max Lawrence).
The standout performance is clearly Christopher Robert Smith, who doubles as Putin and Biden. A creative medly of musical numbers is incorporated into the theme of the show, including The Beatles' "Do You want to Know a Secret?," "Back to the USSR," and "Maria" from Westside Story. The final scene shows Obama attempting to one up Putin with an arm wrestling competition, to the tune of "Nobody Does It Better." The ensemble concludes with Cream's "I'm So Good I'm Bad," a wonderfully arranged number. The top notch direction by Kattlyn Hart deserves recognition, as does the high caliber, most brilliant of playwrights and directors, Nicholas Zill. Of special note is the creative music by the Rock N Ridicule Band. Everytime a crucial scene was introduced, a classic song was sung that highlighted the theme. This musical/dance phenomenon satire is a wonderful example of the whole movement of 'life imitates art,' in today's theatre scene.
Acme Comedy Theatre 135 N. La Brea Ave
Through March 31 Fridays and Saturdays 8PM; Sundays 3 PM