Clinton The Musical is great fun, a light tongue-in-cheek look at the most scandalous and salacious period of Bill Clinton’s presidency. We all know it: the Lewinsky affair, sexual relations and cigars, and that dress with the stain. What I love about it, though is that the musical covers Clinton’s inauguration and the scheming of the Republican party and others to bring him down from the beginning. Clinton is his own worst enemy, but seeing the scheme from the start makes it appear as though he was playing into their hands all along. Bawdy and crass in parts, Clinton The Musical is not unlike the political farces and satires of the Restoration period or some of Shakespeare’s more overt parodies.
The premise is simple, Bill Clinton said in his autobiography that he felt like he lived ‘parallel lives’ and that idea is explored by two actors playing the titular Mr President. Simon Burke makes his Black Swan Theatre Company debut as William Jefferson Clinton – the straight-laced, adult Clinton who wants to reform Health Care and leave a democratic legacy. He is shadowed by Billy Clinton (Matt Dyktynsky)the sexy, rogue-like philanderer who plays the saxophone like a rock-star. The decision to split the two Clintons is quirky and fun. Dyktynsky is hilarious as the inner rebel and pure bad-boy president, likening himself to the youthful JFK.
Burke’s inner turmoil is kept under control as he attempts to calm his other self, even trying to expel him at one point (The Me I See.) The musical has been updated to reflect current status of the key players, including the unflappable Hilary Rodham Clinton. Lisa Adam is hilarious and perfect as the power-hungry, manipulative yet lovably strong first-lady. Her reactions to all of William and Billy’s indiscretions vacillate between eliciting hilarity and sympathy. She flawlessly exposes her naked ambition while trying to keep it all together, Carol Brady-style.
It’s a small cast, with many of the ensemble playing main characters as well as keeping the show together. I bet you won’t be able to get a certain Ms Lewinsky’s (Megan Kozak) signature song out of your head, I for one am still singing along!
When: 27th August – 11th September 2016 (7:30pm)
Where: Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre WA
Tickets: $32.50 – $88.50
Info: 1st September pre-show talk; 8th September post-show Q&A
About Laura Money
Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!
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