The limited run opens May 5 and continues to May 18. The show addresses contemporary political, social and cultural topics — Iraq, President Bush and the so-called Axis of Evil are expected to be addressed — and includes a talk-back after performance. It fills in the gap between the recently closed Flower Drum Song and the upcoming Little Shop of Horrors.
Maher had this to say about Victory Begins at Home: "We've heard everything about the War on Terrorism except what we can actually do to help win it. The government used to do that for us through propaganda (the positive kind) posters, so taking my cue from the great old posters of World War I and World War II ('Loose Lips Sink Ships,' 'Buy War Bonds,' 'Plant a Victory Garden,' etc.) I commissioned artists to paint the posters our government today should be putting out to help us win this war."
Bill Maher is the former host of television's "Politically Incorrect," who was given the boot shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, for making comments which appeared to indicate that the World Trade Center terrorists had displayed more bravery than U.S. soldiers. Maher's point was, anyone willing to commit suicide for a cause would be considered brave by some.
The comedian broke new ground with his ABC series by mixing comedy and content in a format that had a varied panel of politicians, performers, singers, artists, journalists and others discussing — and sometimes feverishly debating — the news of the day. Sometimes the show was so lively and provocative viewers expressed disappointment that the show lasted only a half hour.
The show, and its cancelation, inspired Maher's book, "When You Ride Alone, You Ride With Bin Laden: What The Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism." Maher now hosts a similar show on HBO, "Real Time with Bill Maher," which offers a panel chat as well as other topical comedy segments.
Victory Begins at Home is being presented by Eric Krebs, Jonathan Reinis, CTM Productions and Anne Strickland Squadron. Maher toured Victory last fall.
Performances play 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 2 PM Saturday, 3 and 7:30 PM Sunday. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200. The Virginia Theatre is at 245 W. 52nd Street.