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Theater Shows
Rush Limbaugh! The Musical
Venue:
Second City
1616 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60614 Map This Place!Map it
Cost:
$25
Tickets:
www.secondcity.com or (312) 337-3992

Styles

Related Info:
Official website

Performances
Runs February 3, 2010-May 9, 2010

Sunday2 p.m
Tuesday8:30 p.m.
Wednesday8:30 p.m.

reviewed performanceCenterstage Show Review
Reviewer: Zev Valancy
Wednesday Feb 03, 2010

Rush Limbaugh (Mark Sutton) is praying: he needs some event to rally everyone behind conservatism, and give them a greater appetite for Limbaugh's brand of hate-mongering. At that moment, someone jumps in to tell him that the twin towers have been hit. Limbaugh looks to heaven, and fervently gives thanks.

As the above joke makes perfectly clear, Ed Furman and T. J. Shanoff's "Rush Limbaugh! The Musical" is not a light, funny parody, like the author's previous, lesser show, "Rod Blagojevich Superstar." This is a vicious satire, with real teeth. It's primal-scream therapy for liberals, or anyone fed up with political discourse in America. Someone who doesn't agree with the show's politics probably won't have a good time, but for those of us continually horrified by Limbaugh and his ilk, it's cathartic.

The story looks back at Limbaugh's life from 2014, narrated by Shasta (Karla Beard), who is apparently the embodiment of Limbaugh's fears about black women. The device doesn't really make sense, but it doesn't matter, as Beard is giving a spectacular performance she's got comic timing as strong as the rest of the cast, but she's also a truly exceptional singer. Her solos blow the roof off the place. While the rest of the cast's voices range from passable to good, it hardly takes away from the show, as they all jump into the gleefully malicious material with both feet. Sutton makes a frightening Limbaugh though he's far too healthy-looking for the part and the other four cast members each have truly brilliant moments in a variety of roles.

The show definitely has flaws it loses steam during the last half-hour, and the sound mix is often ear-splittingly loud but they don't detract much from one of the sharpest political satires I've seen. See it before Limbaugh's lawyers shut it down.

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