Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cure For the Common Campaign


As the presidential election bombardment begins, it’s always good to take a step (or five) back and try to view the season with humor.
Because let’s face it -- few things are more miserable than month upon month of dirty attack ads, unproductive debates, and differences of opinion so strong that they nearly upend marriages.
The Kinsey Sicks accomplished said distraction with aplomb in their new show, Electile Dysfunction, at the New Century Theater last week. Acting as if Mitt Romney’s campaign had been suspended, the Kinsey Sicks nominated themselves the new Republican candidates for president. While this nomination could seem business as usual, it was flipped on its head after it was revealed that not only are the Kinsey Sicks drag queens (Andrews Sisters meets Gilbert and Sullivan style), but each had a sordid secret to hide.
Most of Electile Dysfunction was sung to the audience, with famous songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra and Lady Gaga getting an acapella treatment and rewritten lyrics. A word to the wise if it returns to the stage: don’t see the show if you’re easily offended. The Kinsey Sicks made no bones about targeting all race, age, political and religious demographics and more. Their satire was often bitingly funny, but it could hit a bit too close to home.
Among the better numbers were Sinatra’s “My Way” sung as “Vote for Yahweh,” Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World,” as “We Arm the World,” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” as “Restrain Your Love.” The Sinatra spoof was by far the best piece and a commentary on the intersection of religion and politics. Jackson’s song was spoofed in a debate about United States military policy, and Soft Cell’s parody a tongue lashing regarding homosexuality and gay marriage.
There was a mild element of participation (as there seems to be in all New Century shows), so many audience members (including yours truly) were lassoed up to read canned questions or be targeted for their appearance. As drinks are always more than welcome at New Century, it was relatively easy to bolster courage for squeamish audience members.
The Kinsey Sicks each had great timing and lovely voices, often reaching falsettos many female vocalists could only dream of. As nothing but a singing act, they were fun to watch, and definitely worth a visit.
Electile Dysfunction’s run is over for the moment, but keep your eye out in case it returns for a last hurrah before November. Fans of ribald humor and singing queens will have a jazzy time.
+ Learn more about the Kinsey Sicks at kinseysicks.com and see what's coming up at the New Century Theatre at hennepintheatretrust.org.