Moore + Mel = New Fringe Musical Comedy The Passion of George W. Bush

News   Moore + Mel = New Fringe Musical Comedy The Passion of George W. Bush
Banking on the two focuses of film's biggest hits this year, the new musical The Passion of George W. Bush turns the "Fahrenheit" up on a Mel Gibson-like epic to bring "a musical testament" to the New York International Fringe Festival.

The musical comedy, which will play at The Michael Schimmel Center, is set to run Aug. 14-29 as part of this year's crop. Simon Hammerstein directs.

The Passion of George W. Bush follows "our hero from youth to adulthood, from drunkard to president, and watch as he tirelessly searches for how to be a 'good man,'" librettists John Herin and Adam B. Mathias told Playbill On-Line about their stagework. "It's a musical about honesty, humility, vigilance and the cost of virtue."

With characters from the current administration, the tale of one man spreading "his father's gospel across the land" was borne out of reaction to the depressing news of "war in Iraq, a lousy economy, terrorist threats," said the duo. "We decided we could either sit around and gripe about the state of the nation, or we could find some way to enter the political debate, add our opinion, and, at the same time, make people laugh."

Herin and Mathias provide the book and lyrics for The Passion of George W. Bush which features the music of Alden Terry. Jana Zielonka handles music direction and Dontee Kiehn provides choreography.

Colin Stokes (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) stars as George W. Bush opposite Michael Gladis (Fifth of July) as Dick Cheney, Jonathan Putterman as Karl Rove, Thursday Farrar (Aida) as Condoleezza Rice, Craig Baldwin (Twelfth Night) as George H. W. Bush, Shannon Polly (Anything Goes national tour) as Barbara Bush, Charles Browning as Jeb Bush/Colin Powell with Chad Coudriet and Jennifer Houseal as interns. The design team includes Michael V. Moore (scenic), Charlene Alexis Gross (costume), Dale Knoth (lighting) and Greg Reif (sound).

Director Hammerstein has staged the world premieres of Matt Pepper's St. Crispin's Day and Adam Rapp's Trueblinka as well as Jump/Cut, The Dew Point, Search and Destroy and First Love.

Composer Terry has penned the one-act musical CindeRelativity (The Hudson Guild Theater, Dixon Place). He also has provided orchestrations for the "Nothing Like a Dame" 2000 benefit on Broadway, Seduction (conceived and directed by Chet Walker) and Paul Newman's "Hole in the Wall Gang Camp" gala benefits. He currently is the bass player and assistant musical director for Menopause, The Musical. Librettist Herin wrote the book and lyrics for CindeRelativity and Spirit Child. Other works include Ilion, The Open Boat and his curent opera project Ethan Frome with composer Terry.

Librettist Mathias' works include What Ho, Horatio (music by Bobby Nafarrete), Another?, Bloomsbury'd, The People Could Fly (music by Matt Marks) and A Normal Life (music by Dianne Perogine). He is at work on a family musical The Adventures of Johnny Appleseed and a musical adaptation of Calderon de la Barca's Life Is A Dream.

For tickets to The Passion of George W. Bush at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, 3 Spruce Street (East of Park Row, near the corner of Gold Street), call (212) 279-4488 or (888) FringeNYC (outside New York). For more information, visit or

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