Maybe I’m over-analyzing things. But after a thorough review of the evidence, plus an extensive background check, I’m just not convinced that the Kinsey Sicks are actually running for president. I don’t like to doubt the intentions of America’s favorite drag a cappella (sorry, ‘dragapella’) musical comedy group. Lord knows the Republican party needs a winning candidate, so this kick-off to their political careers is well-timed. And it’s encouraging to see that they’ve gotten over their “theatre” phase. That whole acting thing is so passé. Still, something seems amiss. It’s almost as if these born-again conservatives are still a little blue under the collar.
I’m sure I’m just imagining things. Clearly they’re here to bring serious change to Washington, and the first stop on their campaign does pack a punch. The auditorium at Theater J is lit up like a grandstand, chock-full of helium balloons and overflowing with glossy red, white, and blue decor. The stage is set for some old-time politicking. And judging by their platform for change — save the rich, screw the schools, and fence out the foreigners — it’s as if they have their finger right on the pulse of America.
And yet, there’s a whiff of irony to the proceedings. The Kinsey Sicks have plenty to report about liberals these days (as you may have heard, they’re mostly godless socialists striving to topple American supremacy) but the audience seems to find it rather funny, often laughing out loud at the news. On top of that, strange moments keep popping up to distract from the stump speeches, as when Rachel — a bit of a stump herself, next to her statuesque sisters Winnie, Trixie, and Trampolina — goes digging under her dress in search of a prop. Then the glamorous Trixie glides down from the stage and into the audience, cooing at handsome men. Later, the mostly-sensible Winnie suddenly pulls out a tambourine. Seems a bit unprofessional, if you ask me.
What puzzles this reporter above all are the musical numbers. I don’t mean to sound old-fashioned, but since when do major candidates for political office feel the need to skewer the state of the union through song? The harmonies are good, and the percussive a capella stylings get the audience tapping their toes. But the tongue-in-cheek humor, the pop-culture references, and the reliance on classic tunes from Broadway, radio, and MTV seem at odds with the newly-minted lyrics, which preach of traditional values.
Granted, this cavalier quartet gets some good ad-lib banter going between musical bits. And even though some of the one-liners fall flat, the ball keeps rolling. Nearly every number has its charm, and the audience delights in that moment when they recognize the source material. A rendition of Sinatra’s “My Way,” fitted with the new lyrics “I’ll vote with Yahweh,” is just one of many happy surprises. It’s been a while since I’ve heard “forbidden” rhymed with “sex kitten,” for example. But summarizing the other songs — which detail the party’s positions on immigration, abstinence, marriage, and much more — would spoil a whole lot of chuckle-worthy moments.
If you prefer your conservative cake without frosting, The Kinsey Sicks may not be the candidate for you. On the other hand, if you can’t put on a good show these days, I suppose your chances of winning office are pretty slim.
So I say we accept these four lovely ladies for who they are. All the glitter and glamour, the high heels and big egos, the shrewd pokes and the rude jokes… It might be just what we need to take back America. And in order to form a more fabulous union they’ll need some real grassroots help, so swing your vote their way and stop in. Do your duty, people. This is politics. You think they do this for fun?
Electile Dysfunction: The Kinsey Sicks for President!
Book, Choreography and Direction: Spencer Brown, Irwin Keller, Jeff Manabat and Ben Schatz
Lyrics by Ben Schatz
Produced by Theater J
Reviewed by Hunter Styles
Running time: approx. 1 hour, 30 minutes without intermission