With the presidential election only a month away, politics is heavy on everyone's minds. Giving a nod to that, San Francisco's Magic Theatre spends the month of October with staged readings of plays about politicians and the spinmasters who make or break them.
Canadian playwright Robert William Sherwood looks at American politics with this tale of two spin doctors who lock horns on the night before a major presidential debate. One, a campaign manager, feels his candidate has an insurmountable lead -- until a rumor threatens to turn into a full blown scandal. The play, currently running in a full production at Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre, plays Oct. 16 only, with Amy Glazer directing.
Oct. 30, a woman's quest for mayor is the subject of David Ford's The Back Room of the Nuovo Mondo. As Barbara Giordano struggles to obtain political position, she must fight to keep her liberal ideas, finesse an illegal donation from a Black Nationalist, manipulate a TV station just purchased by Disney and pick her lovers without thought of political advantage. Magic Theatre General Manager John Warren directs.
Tickets are $10. The readings will take place at the Commonwealth Club at 595 Market Street. For reservations, call (415) 441-8822. The Magic Theatre is on line at http://www.magictheatre.org.
* The first "Playwrights and Politics" play was Atwater: Fixin' To Die, Oct. 2. Written by Robert Myers, Atwater looks at the real life campaign manager, who won Ronald Reagan and George Bush their presidencies before dying of a brain tumor at age 40. The first of the "hard ball" spin masters, his legacy can be seen in James Carville, George Stephanopoulos and Ed Rollins. Laura Hope Owen directed.
-- By Christine Ehren