After an off-Broadway run to packed houses at the Roy Aria’s Stages last summer, Vote For Me – a musicalised presidential debate – hit London this month. The musical was commissioned by Robyn Goodman, the producer of Avenue Q, written by Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, and directed by Dom O’Hanlon. Candidates dance and sing their way through the three ring circus of American politics and the audience actually cast their votes to help determine the outcome of the show.
The show is staged by The London Theatre Workshop combining commercial theatre, workshops, staged readings and education for up and coming artists and musicians. It’s ‘home’ is a brand new 65 seat studio theatre located above the impressive Eel Brook pub in South West London. It’s an independent theatre company that doesn’t receive funding so is reliant on ticket sales. My wife and I were guests of Official Theatre on the evening of the UK Election, so we got to vote twice that day!
The US presidential race is between Senator Buddy Rounsaville (Hans Rye) and Governor Janet Tilghman (Emily Lynne), supported by their respective spouses Amy (Jennie Jacobs) and Roger (Arvid Larson) and advisor (Joe Leather) and TV host Robyn (Lucy Grainger).
The show is a 90 minute wurlitzer with a cast that is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic I’ve ever seen – both on and off the stage. I drew this sketch after the show and went back before a Sunday matinee ‘cornering’ them going in. They were all very friendly and happily signed the drawing. Life may imitate art with the US Presidential Elections next year and the possibility of Hillary Clinton in the mix.
I even got to chat with Dom the director and the two writers Drew and Scott, who had just flown out from the States for a Q&A. Vote for Me runs until 23 May at London Theatre Workshop, above the Eel Brook pub, near Fulham Broadway station.