Democracy Burlesque’s Obamarama, and the fine art of the political skewer

Joe Fedorko and the cast of Democracy Burlesque's Obamarama, currently running in Chicago

Joe Fedorko and the cast of Democracy Burlesque’s Obamarama, currently running in Chicago

So, how is Barack Obama doing on his second first 100 days in office? Can you say Drones, CISPA and Monsanto? Fair? That’s the backdrop of “Obamarama,” the new show by Chicago’s only political sketch comedy, Democracy Burlesque.
Obamarama opened last Tuesday, with an industry night offering to stretch their legs a bit. Set in the cozy and comfortable Mary’s Attic theater, overlooking Clark Street in Chicago’s Andersonville, a cast of regulars and a few new faces pulled no punches in this 90 minute review that mixes, music, satire and at times pure silliness. The show even features its own comedy drone, exposed(!) by the show’s host, Rachel Maddow, ably captured by Democracy Burlesque writer, contributor and actor, Anne Marie Gaggioli.
“…any rumors you may have heard that the neo-futurists have ceased being funny, or that comedy teams from Improv Olympics have been seen herded into unmarked vans, or a smoldering heap of bricks and millions of autographed photos of Bill Murray now litter the corner of North and Wells, where Second City is, well, the less said about all that the better.”
And there is an actual drone-a comedy drone- hovering above the theater. Fear not, this one is aimed at your funny bone only. But there is much more to the show, in one of those rare venues where you can have a meal, sit back comfortably and watch the show. Democracy Burlesque lives up to its reputation of an equal opportunity offender with sketches that take witty and biting jabs at all sides of the political divide, as well as a few you might not have thought of previously.
Actor Brad Davidson returns throughout the show as a Republican candidate caught in a cascading series of apologies, caught between rightwing positions pre-election and the new re-packaged Gay-immigrant-black friendly(?) Republican party. Daniella Rukin is a concerned school administrator sitting down for a parent teacher conference with Michelle Obama(Sylvia Mann) over her husband’s troublesome report card.
Unfortunately Barack doesn’t seem to be living up to his full potential,” Rukin tells a shocked Michelle Obama.
“What do you mean,” replies Michelle, “he started stimulus programs in math class, which restored the worst economy since the great depression? He cleaned up wars, that the previous class started. He’s made enormous headway with gay rights, the glee club loves him! He got good marks in health class when he started Obama care…”
There are battling civil rights, the NRA squares off against Michael Bloomberg(Ed Marks), a pragmatic Chris Christie squaring off against the hardliners in the party and a clever musical bit about the sequester, in which the Defense department is stunned to find itself facing cuts like all of the rest of the government.
Come for the pull-no-punches political assault, stand up and music, have a drink and a bite from Hamburger Mary’s menu and you might just discover that, hunkered down in the vast centrist middle of the nation, that you aren’t so alone after all!
Obamarama runs Tuesdays April 23rd & 30th
May 7th, 14th & 21st, Mary’s Attic, above Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 North Clark Street in Chicago. Doors open at 7pm. $15 at the door, $12 for students, but subscribe to their email for discounts and specials

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