Sunday, January 7, 2024

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Killin' Republicans", a Rock Opera at Theater for the New City

If you knew me, you might wonder “why would she go to a show called this?” Isn’t she from a conservative atmosphere and not a big fan of leftists? Hi, I’ve lived in NYC for over 15 years and never said I was a devotee to one team or the other. I’m the one who’s been saying BOTH of them are the problem and remain a registered Independent who thinks the only way to fix these issues is to get money out of politics. Also, I have a sense of humor and appreciate humor based in some honesty.

The setup of this show is very cool since you literally got checked in by the dedicated flight attendants, got a very cool ticket stub and the airplane set was great. Careful attention was paid to getting it right and it definitely took me to my experience riding first class recently with the comfy seating. For some reason, the subway was packed on my way to this show and more like what you’d expect during weekday rush hour vs. a Saturday evening. Fortunately, I hadn’t missed anything and we were treated to a live band playing as the show got started.
Abby Gumpper, Gabriel Wilkler, Ava Jones. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Right before the show started (thankfully I had time to settle and find a good seat), we were told there’d been tech issues. Sadly, I wasn’t able to hear as much of the show because of difficulties hearing most of the actors as the music played but I did catch the gist of the show. However, the actress playing Goodness Gracious (Queen Koleurz) was not someone I had trouble hearing and her character was awesome. She's also got a fun and entertaining mate in BillyBob from Biloix (Edwin Vazquez).
Queen Kolurez and Edwin Vazquez. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Our flight attendants/ticket takers (Ava Jones and Gabriel Winker) also deserve recognition as they definitely played those parts well and when I came in, I wasn’t aware they were going to be performing in the show complete with great dance moves. I’d simply thought someone had put in far more detail to the audience experience than I’ve seen in my years of acting in or attending theater shows; it’s a simple detail that probably should happen more often since it was memorable and definitely helped set the tone and feel of the show.
Ava Jones, Gabriel Winkler. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

The attention to detail continued in the prop design. One prop that I thought was cool was the Abe Lincoln hat that when it opened, had a brain pop out in bits. This particular piece was the work of Erin Mathewson.
Queen Koleurz Koluchi as Abe Lincoln. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Now I’m curious if real life Jodie Foster has heard about this show or had any comment about John Hinkley Jr. If she did, I’m pretty sure the song she sings proclaiming “Why Me” wouldn’t be off base. This show’s Jodie Foster (Abby Grumpper) also knows how to rock and definitely had moves that belied her image. If real life Jodie Foster has the moves, I’m sure she’d be happy that someone has acknowledged them in this show.
Abby Gumpper as Jodie Foster. Behind: Ava Jones. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

If you read the title and think this show is only about bashing Republicans, you’d be off the mark. This show does offer historical accuracy though I wonder if the airplane and general flight experience is a commentary on today’s Republican party. After all, the announcements are how many would describe a lot of their experiences and perceptions of the far right element (such as the plane arriving nowhere near where anyone needs to go and the general passengers being lucky they even get oxygen to breathe while on the flight). Maybe it’s a case of “the more things change…” and how history repeats itself? Nonetheless, I think the last song “Don’t Kill Republicans” is the best support for showing anyone of any party could find enjoyment in this show.