Out from the mouths of babes comes this heartwarming parody of the American political process. The Inaugural Election for President of Mrs. Jacobson’s Sixth Grade Class opens under somber blue lights, a funeral for the class hamster. The solemn affair is closed with a 21 spitball salute beginning a show that’s a hoot and half.
Mrs. Jacobson (Carol Randolph) has a fantastic idea. What better way to teach the children the political process than by holding their own election? She announces that the elected class president will maintain the hamster calendar, a new provision born out of the tragedy caused by the initially distraught Jenny (Genevieve James). The children hear that whoever wins will be in charge over every other student. Despite their intentions and some of their best wishes, all of the students enter.
Sounds of the playground drown out some of the words during the softer spoken scenes, and the door-to-door campaigning audience interaction is distracting while a scene is happening on stage, but these are exceptional metaphors for the familiar chaos of the election cycle.
The two musical numbers – a rendition of “One is the Loneliest Number,”and one celebrating election day, are entertaining even though they are delivered with all of the energy of a homeroom roll call.
The Inaugural Election for President of Mrs. Jacobson’s Sixth Grade Class
by Kevin Finkelstein
at Lab II – Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
Details and tickets
Here the writing and direction of Kevin Finkelstein shines through the precocity of Jenny, the determination of Alice (Momo Nakamura) and the sincerity of Nicholas (Luke Cieslewicz).
It was extremely satisfying to participate, as one of the class, in the election and to see the results I wanted. The Federal Theatre Project says they want to get audience members to think, not tell them what to think.
And you know what? I think they did a great job!