Friday, August 19, 2016

A Brave Election Commentary: The Lady and the Trump

Tick one more thing off my bucket list

How have I never been to the Brave New Workshop? How, how, how?!

I have walked by the theater hundreds of times on Hennepin (until last week it was the only theater on Hennepin that I've never visited, in fact), and somehow always thought meh, I can miss it.

Oh how wrong I was!

It turns out there is a thriving comedy scene in the Twin Cities and it is solidly anchored by the good work coming out of the Brave New Workshop (BNW). In addition to their themed events (currently based on the election - more of that coming soon!), BNW provides improv sessions, hosts other comedy performances, and brings innovation workshops to dozens of corporate partners. They participate in monthly charitable based happy hours partnering with Finnegans beer, have been in business for over 58 years, and support a student union that leads students in learning the art of improv. SO. IMPRESSIVE.

So my PSA for the day - if you haven't been to BNW yet, run don't walk! You'll not only see an awesome show, but also support a lot of great work they're doing for the community.

On to the Lady and the Trump, the current feature show running at BNW (through November 5).

This show reminded me a lot of a local, live Saturday Night Live kind of vibe. They are spot-on with their election coverage (as they say, everyone, regardless of which candidate they support, should leave at least mildly offended by the end of the evening), spoofing the major presidential candidates as well as their chief political rivals. Sketches range from showing the average supporter of each candidate to the dreams of Hillary and Donald on their first nights in the White House to musical takes on gender and current events. There are some striking news bulletins (Weekend Update style for SNL fans), and general political shenanigans.

The actors are also great, particularly in the core cast. Ryan Nelson was absolutely hilarious as multiple nefarious candidates, including Donald Trump. He brought a perfect bluster, bravado, and waving tiny hands to his parts. Taj Ruler was also outstanding as a motley crew of candidates. Her standout was Bernie Sanders, but I truly believe she could have played anyone. She was pitch perfect - I can't wait to see more of her!

Comedy has always seemed uniquely suited to interpreting and deflating the mounds of bullshit that politicians love to throw around every election season, and this has never been truer than this presidential year. Both sides have had plenty of awkward moments so far, and BNW faces them with aplomb. My date and I were in stitches throughout the evening, and The Lady and the Trump provided a very, very welcome release from the many depressing stories we've seen on the news of late. I can't wait to see more from BNW, and I highly encourage you to go check it out! It's a relatively inexpensive evening and will provide a much needed comedic respite from the dark issues of our day. Find out more and purchase tickets by clicking on this link.