Clinton the Musical OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Russ Rowland

  • EW


  • TM


Opening Night:
April 9, 2015
June 21, 2015

Theater: New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street, New York, NY, 10019


"Clinton The Musical" explores the two very different sides of the 42nd President of the United States: “WJ,” the wholesome, intelligent one, and “Billy,” the randy, charming one. With Hillary (Rodham) Clinton at their side, the two will handle issues from The White House to Whitewater, the sax to the sex, social security to social climbers, and in the process make history. Maybe.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Clinton the Musical

    ‘Clinton the Musical’ Proves Unimpeachably Amusing

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    April 9, 2015: First came the gnashing of teeth over Hillary Clinton’s private email account, and her soon-to-be announced presidential campaign. Then, with a TED talk, Monica Lewinsky signaled her return to the spotlight. Now a show called “Clinton the Musical” has opened Off Broadway. A person could be forgiven for wanting to hide under the bed until the 1990s stopped making a comeback. But cowering would be a mistake. Far better to crawl out from behind that dust ruffle, head over to New World Stages and let “Clinton the Musical” quell your fears. Smartly silly, hilariously impudent and sneakily compassionate, it is nearly guaranteed to leave you humming a bouncy, exuberant tune called “Monica’s Song” — the lyrics are unprintable — and thinking far more fondly of the eight scandal-plagued years this country spent with a president from a place called Hope. In this frothily satirical political history — which has a book by the Australian brothers Paul and Michael Hodge, and music and lyrics by Paul Hodge — No. 42 is actually two presidents: the urbane, silver-haired WJ Clinton (Tom Galantich) and the louche, rutting Billy Clinton (Duke Lafoon).


    A surprisingly robust skewering of the '90s D.C. scene

    Keisha Hatchett

    April 9, 2015: Composers Paul and Michael Hodge might be Australian, but their satirical, musical take on Bill Clinton’s presidency from 1993 to 2001 hits American politics right on its semi-bulbous nose. Backed by a stellar cast of singing reporters, dancing Senate cardboard cutouts (kudos to scenic designer Beowulf Boritt for a very orange John Boehner) and a special appearance by that unforgettable blue dress, "Clinton the Musical" (now playing at New World Stages in midtown NYC) is a wildly fun reminder that politics are an absurd battle of wills. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (played by Tony Award nominee Kerry Butler) is the brains behind Bill’s successful run as president, and manages the two vastly different sides of her husband: Billy Clinton (Duke Lafoon), the saxophone-playing, pot-smoking, free-wheeling loverboy who just wants to have a good time; and William Jefferson Clinton (Tom Galantich), the focused, honorable man who puts his presidential duties first. As opposing sides of the same coin, they attempt to maneuver their way through scandal (struggling to tell the truth about an affair with infamous White House intern Monica Lewinsky) and triumph (three cheers for a balanced budget!) over two productive terms.

  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Clinton the Musical

    ‘Clinton: The Musical’ Opens With Bill, Hillary and Monica Back Together

    Ramin Setoodeh

    April 9, 2015: Hillary Clinton leans forward from her desk at the Oval Office. “Good evening,” says the former first lady. “I’d like to tell you the story of my first presidency.” The line might sound like a lukewarm zinger out of “Saturday Night Live,” but it sets the tone for sharper jabs that will be flung throughout “Clinton: The Musical.” In this case, the title character isn’t Hillary — it’s Bill, whose eight years as commander-in-chief serve as the backdrop for a buzzy new Off Broadway musical production that opens Thursday night. The 42nd president is played by two actors, Tom Galantich and Duke Lafoon, to represent his dual personalities as a serious politician and a philandering womanizer. Hillary (Kerry Butler) comes across as a scheming Tracy Flick from the Alexander Payne movie “Election.” It’s safe to say that the Clintons won’t be among those attending the show, now playing at New World Stage in midtown Manhattan. With Hillary on the verge of announcing her presidential bid for 2016, this production reopens a closet of skeletons the Clintons would like for America to forget: Whitewater, Paula Jones, the botched bid for universal health care, etc. These scandals unfold through a score of tongue-in-cheek ditties worthy of “Avenue Q.”

  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Clinton the Musical

    ClintonMania finally reaches off-Broadway

    Zachary Stewart

    April 9, 2015: As Hillary Rodham Clinton stealthily sets up her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn Heights (on Clinton Street), New Yorkers may want to head over to New World Stages to reflect upon the first two Clinton terms in "Clinton the Musical." Of course, that was officially the presidency of her husband, William Jefferson Clinton, but in the wacky and wonderful minds of authors Michael Hodge and Paul Hodge, Americans very clearly got two for the price of one. Or should we say three? This uproarious musical romp deals with Mr. Clinton's duplicitous nature by having him portrayed as two distinct characters: serious statesman WJ (a staid Tom Galantich) and saxophone-toting playboy Billy (Duke Lafoon, who has the Clinton vocal fry down pat). Only Hillary (the quirky and big-voiced Kerry Butler) can see them both at once, leading to some awkward encounters in front of the press. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (a cartoonish John Treacy Egan) wants only to obstruct the Clinton machine. Meanwhile, special prosecutor Kenneth Starr (Kevin Zak) is out to bring them down by making Bill the first president ever to be removed from office.

  • THE DAILY BEAST REVIEW OF Clinton the Musical

    ‘Clinton The Musical’: The Ballad of Horny Bill, Dogged Hillary, and Lovesick Lewinsky

    Marlow Stern

    April 9, 2015: Talk about timing. On the evening of April 9, mere days before Hillary Clinton reportedly is set to announce her candidacy for president of the United States, the over-the-top production Clinton The Musical made its Off-Broadway debut. Playing at New World Stages in Midtown Manhattan, the brisk, 92-minute, one-act musical offers a flamboyant take on the tabloid-ready Clinton-Lewinsky ’90s sex scandal, and boasts a wild cast of characters, from cardboard Al Gore to a deviant, S&M enthusiast Ken Starr. The play, directed by Dan Knechtges and composed by Aussies Paul and Michael Hodge, opens with a spare Oval Office stage. Framed portraits of former presidents posing with images of their mistresses decorate the walls, from Thomas Jefferson with a slavewoman to JFK with a bevy of beauties, including Marilyn Monroe. Then out pops Hillary (played by Tony Award nominee Kerry Butler), sporting her signature blue power suit. “Good afternoon!” she announces. “My name is Hillary Rodham Clinton, and I’d like to tell you about my first presidency.”



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