The People’s Choice

By Phillip Pinkus

The People's Choice

The People’s Choice

Directed by Christopher Goldman

Produced by Genesis Theatrical Productions

At National Pastime Theatre, Chicago

Wicked political satire spoofs a hungry for re-election President

The world premiere of Phillip Pinkus’ The People’s Choice is an intended over-the-top political satire dedicated to “outing” inept American politicians who’ll use any means to get re-elected.  Our fictional present President of the United States (Brandon Galatz ) is worried about his re-election chances since his administration is in financial flux. His goofy Secretary of the Treasury (Michael Wagman ) outlines the mess cutting the chances of   re-election. What to do?

Well, of course, bring in the campaign experts to shape the message and run the campaign. Pam (Stefanie Johnsen) and Sam (Holly Robison) decide to completely do both damage control and an image make-over of The President. Their rules rely on not having the President take concrete political stands on any issues. It’s image rather than substance that the people crave. That and getting corporate sponsors for the Congress gives the US Government an ‘entertainment’ feel that the voters actually crave.

The result of all this super-sized satire is a way-too wacky but somewhat funny attack on just how politicians shape their ‘message’ to the public. Playwright  Philip Pinkus may not possess the biting wit of Gore Vidal nor the realistic perceptions of  Aaron Sorkin but his intentionally zany comic satire does highlight the manipulation and desperation of a President bent on winning re-election at any cost. The situations are absurd and the acting is spirited even if some of the funny moments seem strained. But as a light off-night show (Mondays & Tuesdays), The People’s Choice fills the bill. Brandon Galatz  shows promise as the hapless President.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2011

At National Pastime Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL, http://www.genesistheatricals.com/, tickets $15, Mondays & Tuesdays at 7:30 pm, running time is 85 minutes without intermission, through October 25, 2011