The Great Election

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Theater Review

THE GREAT ELECTION, John Stark's comical satire of small town politics, performs as a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre for a limited run.

Taking place in the early part of the 20th century, the town of Pahrump, Nevada is witnessing a state recall election. The city itself is divided as it is by it's "blue" side complete with its various gambling halls, saloons, and cat houses, and it's "red" section of humble churches and other examples of a quality community. But the election has its drawbacks, as politics, corruption, and general nonsense takes its toll in a hamlet that wasn't necessarily content in the first place!

This escapade is based upon the story of the same name appearing in Canadian author's Stephen Leacock's_ Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town_, that consist as an anthology of shorter stories first published in 1912 featuring vignettes that used the town of Orillia, Ontario as its setting. Adapted by John Stark (who also directs), this play also consists of short scenes that mesh together featuring the characters, both shady and almost shady, seeing to it that this election the entire borough is all abuzz is counted and counted right!

Adding to the spirit of the time and times is the live musical accompaniment featuring the guitars of John De Young and Heather Rae, playing a few folk-ish tunes (singing, too) that bridge between the various acts and settings. Though not a musical in the traditional sense, the songs are a pleasant blend of both small town politics and the "this-is-how-it-is" moments, even though that any resemblance between persons living or dead in Pahrump is purely coincidental! This is one disclaimer that really sets it straight! John DeYoung wrote all the songs for the production, and you can hear more of his music at www.johndeyoung.net.

The ensemble cast of players consist of (listed in alphabetical order), Michael Byrne, Martin Clark, John Combs, Catherine Cox, Mollyann Davis, Alex Hall, Dalila Hall, Zeljka Gortinsky, Jack Kissell, John Lawrence Landis, Frank James Malle, Brenden McVeigh, Deborah Moore, G. Russell Reynolds, Tanya Starcevich, John Szura, and Lynn Wanlass.

THE GREAT ELECTION has plenty of irony, wit, and perhaps some wisdom. Don't expect belly laughs--since this a satire, not a farce or wild n' woolly wacky comedy! However, political elections as a rule tend to be funny as they stand-or fall! And because this is an election year, find your wittyness within this production, and seek your "goofy" humor on a televised political debate. At least the candidates can make 'em up as they go along!

By Rich Borowy

*ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE*

(Vol. 13-No. 38-Week of September 22nd, 2008)


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