Tuesday, July 8, 2014

See the Trailer for Casey Stampfield: The Musical

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The tradition of political satire in America is rich, though it doesn't seem quite as much fun in the recent era. That's the inevitable by-product of a liberal Democratic presidential administration. It's not that Democrats aren't as funny as Republicans — it's just that most mainstream comics lean to the left and hence tend to shoot toward the right.

Of course, the only thing that really matters is whether the satire has wit and hits its intended marks. For the most part, that's true with Music City Theatre Company's Casey Stampfield: The Musical, a new one-hour musical revue that takes aim at Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield, a gadfly Republican from the 7th District representing Knoxville and environs. …

In addition to his spurious legislative agenda, Campfield has indulged in some weird public behavior and grandstanding activities that seem annoying, unnecessary and unbecoming for an elected official. Hence there's plenty of grist for the comedy mill for creators Michael McFaden, Bradley Moore and Mark Beall, who basically relate the Campfield vitae through a series of sketches and 14 songs (including reprises), presented by an energetic cast of five whose delivery is in the spirit of Washington, D.C.'s veteran political satire group The Capitol Steps.

Cabaret and theater vets Steve Mogck and Daniel Vincent lead the charge, supported by Memory Strong and Sarah Shepherd, and they run through a score that derives inspiration from another D.C. institution, Mark Russell, the pundit/pianist who's been making political hay for decades by matching caustic lyrics to familiar tunes. Under Beall's musical direction, we get songs like "Rocky Top," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and "Turkey in the Straw" remade to suit Campfield's shenanigans, plus there's a generic Gilbert & Sullivan ripoff ("The Republican Song") and the operatic "Oh, Woe Is Me." The pièce de résistance features Strong in "The Dumbest Man of All," a funny and straight-faced reworking of the Whitney Houston hit, "The Greatest Love of All." ...

Read the rest of the review in this week's Scene.

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