Bette Midler Fan Mail
- ▼ 2019 (76)
- ► 2018 (1084)
- ► 2017 (2182)
- ► 2016 (2706)
- ► 2015 (1553)
- ► 2014 (751)
- ► 2013 (1114)
- ► 2012 (1865)
- ► 2011 (1466)
- ► 2010 (1636)
- ► 2009 (981)
- ► 2008 (777)
- ► 2007 (361)
- ► 2006 (274)
- ► 2005 (450)
- ► 2004 (990)
- ► 2003 (762)
- ► 2002 (213)
Category Archives: Broadway
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
The Fans Have Voted! The Top 10 Witch Stories That Should Become Broadway Musicals
by Broadway.com Staff
Oct 29, 2018
As All Hallows Eve draws near, so too does the 15th Anniversary of Wicked. On October 30, the hit musical about the untold story of the witches of Oz will celebrate 15 years on Broadway. To commemorate both witchy occasions, Broadway.com asked fans to rank which witch story they want to see become a Broadway musical. See how your favorite stacked up in the full list here, and check out the top 10 below.
10. American Horror Story: Coven
9. The Witches ...
Thursday, October 4, 2018
How many of you got to see this great show? Any special memories?
Friday, September 14, 2018
Early Bidding Now Open For Walk-On Roles, VIP Tickets, and More At The Broadway Flea Market (Including Bette Midler Stuff)
Early Bidding Now Open For Walk-On Roles, VIP Tickets, and More At The Broadway Flea Market (Including Bette Midler Stuff)
by BWW News Desk Sep. 13, 2018
Jump start your ultimate theatrical treasure hunt as early bidding opens today on dozens of auction items you can’t get anywhere except at the 32nd Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction.
Broadway fans can bid on exclusive memorabilia, unforgettable onstage and backstage opportunities and more at broadwaycares.org.
Then on Sunday, September 30, the thrill of the auction continues in person when Shubert Alley is filled with theatre fans bidding on the items at the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction’s silent and live auctions. Even more Broadway treasures are in store along West 44th and West 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, where you can discover tables full of items from your favorite shows and theatrical organizations. ...
Saturday, August 18, 2018
2 Orchestra Seats to the Final Hello, Dolly! Matinee on Broadway with a Backstage Visit with Cast Member & Signed Poster on August 25
Your bid supports: Broadway Sings for Pride
Donated by: Broadway Sings for Pride
Estimated Value: $2,500.00
Perfect for any Broadway and Bette Midler fan!
Bid to win 2 Orchestra seat tickets to see the final matinee of the Tony-winning hit Hello, Dolly! on Broadway, starring Bette Midler, with a private backstage tour with cast member Michael Hartung! Plus you will recieve a poster signed by various cast members on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 2pm!
Hello, Dolly! is about a meddlesome matchmaker who brings together the young clerk of a wealthy Yonkers merchant and his assistant with a widowed milliner and her assistant, while making sure she herself gets to marry the merchant, in Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker. ...
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Mister D: I just don’t know. It’s real cool seeing all these adapttions coming along from Bette Midler movies (Beaches, First Wives Club, Hocus Pocus, and now The Rose) but they could never hit the mark set by her. And different scores? Forget about it. The most it would be for me is a curiosity factor mixed in with some nostalgia. Broadway World Stage Adaptation of Bette Midler Film THE ROSE Aiming for Broadway by BWW News Desk Jan. 22, 2018 According to Variety, a stage-musical adaptation of the Bette Midler film The Rose is aiming for Broadway. The Jackal Group just announced that Grammy winning composer Glen Ballard (Ghost the Musical) will write the music. Gail Berman of the Jackal Group said in a statement: “The story lends itself perfectly to a live musical production: it’s a roller-coaster journey through the life of a volatile star, a celebration of music, and a visual homage to the dazzling culture of rock and roll. We are so excited to bring a modern-day take on this project to the stage, and beyond thrilled to have Glen, a true musical vanguard at the helm.” The Rose is a 1979 American drama film which tells the story of a self-destructive 1960s rock star who struggles to cope with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of her ruthless business manager. The story is loosely based on the life of singer Janis Joplin.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Forbes Broadway’s Record-Breaking Summer Finally Comes To An End Lee Seymour , CONTRIBUTOR OCT 3, 2017 As Hollywood crashed and burned over the summer, rescued only recently by the monster-clown hit IT, Broadway has been having a ball. The only things floating here are the grosses. For thirty-two straight weeks, Broadway’s box office eclipsed its own high water marks. Grosses are measured weekly, Sunday-Sunday, and since March each has seen record high numbers compared to the same frame in years past. Last week marked the first break in that streak, as the industry total of $23.2m was just under 2014’s $23.24m. It was a narrow margin, though, and with two shows slated to to begin previews next week (The Band’s Visit and Junk), it’s likely that 2017 will go back to its record-shattering ways soon. How did this happen? A glut of content is behind the big numbers, with an average of five additional shows on the docket all summer compared to last year. Huge premium prices for shows like Hamilton and Hello, Dolly! also goosed sales. It’s no surprise, then, that the shows charging top dollar stayed at the top of the heap, even as grosses overall slid. Hamilton has been the biggest moneymaker on Broadway all year, taking $117 million so far, or $2.9m each week. A premium seat will set you back a staggering $849. Thanks to Bette Midler’s star power, Hello, Dolly! has stayed right behind since opening this spring. And yes, it is thanks to Ms. Midler – whenever she takes a week off, grosses collapse. The almost-as-staggering $748 price tag doesn’t hurt either (though your wallet may beg to differ). Disney has long had something of a stranglehold on Broadway’s coffers. Until Hamilton, The Lion King was the industry’s top earner – at $6.2 billion globally, it’s also the highest grossing musical of all time. Though not nearly as critically adored, Aladdin has also sold well since opening in 2014. Both shows are usually in the top five highest earners, alongside Wicked. This week, however, 2017 Tony winner Dear Evan Hanseneclipsed both Aladdin ($1.3m) and Wicked ($1.4m) and took the #4 slot, with $1.68m. It’s especially impressive given that Hansen is running in the Music Box Theater, which is about 800 seats smaller than either of them. Worth noting, perhaps, is that of these shows, three feature casts predominantly made up of people of color. In fact, of the eight shows currently grossing over $1 million, half of them have casts partially – or mostly – made up of non-white performers. And before self-destructing due to mismanagement, The Great Comet counted itself among them. Every other show is sort of lumped together below these, which speaks to a deeper issue at play on the Rialto. The adage ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ has been proven here to be unequivocally false. Yes, overall grosses have gone up this year as a few shows skyrocketed, but the turnover of Broadway theaters remains constant and fraught. In fact, it’s worse this year than any in recent memory. At the end of last summer, over a third of running shows were slated to close by the year’s end. Between August 1st and December 31st of 2017, a whopping eleven shows (of 31) will take their final bow. These don’t include several non-profit productions, or potentially another commercial musical. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory seems to be bracing for rough times ahead; grosses have plummeted alarmingly over the last month, down to 40% of its gross potential. Chances are it will stay open through the holidays to reap massive tourist bucks, but beyond that the future is hazy. It was the only show to drop six figures this week. The split between haves and have-nots will only widen this season as several more mega-properties move in, squishing other “normal” shows down. Spongebob Squarepants, Frozen and Harry Potter are all set to surf the tide of premium prices as others scramble for lifeboats.
Friday, January 6, 2017
Vulture 32 New Broadway and Off Broadway Shows Worth Seeing in 2017 By Jesse Green January 5, 2017 Barring last-minute announcements — unlikely because every available theater is booked — 24 productions are scheduled to open on Broadway between now and the Tony Awards cutoff at the end of April. More than five times as many will open Off Broadway during that same window. Without counting the hundreds of smaller events popping up all around the city, or most of what happens in May and beyond, which is still too foggy to bet on, that leaves a vast landscape of stage activity to enjoy. What I’m most looking forward to is the wealth of challenging new plays, even on Broadway, but in every category of theatrical offering, except perhaps clown acts, something compelling beckons. Here’s a highly selective and idiosyncratic look at what’s in store. NEW BROADWAY MUSICALS =&0=& (previews begin 2/18) A riveting concept underlies this original work, the first to take on the events of September 11, 2001. It’s about the small town in Newfoundland where 6,579 passengers aboard 38 planes were marooned that terrible day. War Paint=&2=& The parallel lives of beauty magnates Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden get the big Broadway treatment, with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole facing off to a score by Grey Gardens greats Scott Frankel and Michael Korie. =&3=& (3/9) The 2001 movie, about a French gamine who does good deeds in secret despite her own isolation, teetered on the edge of twee, but I am looking forward to what Craig Lucas makes of the story, and especially to what Philippa Soo, in her first post-Hamilton turn, makes of the title role. =&4=& (3/23) Director Matthew Warchus and songwriter Tim Minchin, late of Matilda, take on one of the great concept movies of recent years, in which a TV weatherman wakes up each day to a repeat of the day before. How will they make a musical of it? Andy Karl, a smash in the London production, stars. =&5=& (3/28) I never cottoned to the beloved 1971 movie musical (called Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) because of its weird combination of whimsy and psychedelia. But with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman writing the new songs, I’m there. BROADWAY MUSICAL REVIVALS =&6=& (2/2) Glenn Close reprises her 1994 Tony-winning role as Norma Desmond in this semi-staged production with a huge onstage orchestra. I can’t justify it; I just can’t miss it. =&7=&(3/15) There are at least a dozen reasons this revival is a must-see, including David Hyde Pierce as a curmudgeonly skinflint and the chance to reexamine the ne plus ultra of Broadway Broadwayness circa 1964. But obviously the biggest reason is Bette Midler in the title role; will she descend the Harmonia Gardens staircase in a mermaid outfit? NEW BROADWAY PLAYS =&8=& (3/9) One thing you will barely find on Broadway this season, or any recent season, is a flat-out comedy, which is why I’m looking forward to this British farce about a misbegotten theater company putting on a murder mystery. If this sounds a bit like Noises Off, I’m not complaining. =&9=& (3/23) A hit last summer at the Mitzi Newhouse — Lincoln Center Theater’s Off Broadway space — this secret history of the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian accords moves upstairs to the Vivian Beaumont for its Broadway premiere. Downstairs, it was a big play on a big topic that felt squeezed; I’m eager to see how much it expands when it has the room. =&10=&(4/1) This spring brings the welcome Broadway playwriting debuts of Joshua Harmon, with Significant Other; Lynn Nottage, belatedly, with Sweat; and, even more belatedly, Paula Vogel, with Indecent. But I already saw all three plays Off Broadway, so the Broadway newcomer I’m especially looking forward to is Lucas Hnath, with this new play, starring Laurie Metcalf, Jayne Houdyshell, Chris Cooper, and Condola Rashad, that picks up where Ibsen left off in 1879. BROADWAY PLAY REVIVALS =&11=&(In previews) Of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, each set in a different decade of the 20th century, only this one, the 1970s installment, has not appeared on Broadway. (It had a strong Off Broadway run in 2000.) That’s reason enough to include it here, whether or not Manhattan Theatre Club’s production officially counts as a “revival.” =&12=&(2/7) Was it not just three years ago that we had a haunting revival of this Tennessee Williams classic, starring Cherry Jones, on Broadway? So what? If it were up to me it would always be playing, especially in productions featuring the likes of Sally Field and Joe Mantello under the direction of Sam Gold. =&13=& (2/16) Every season needs some Arthur Miller; last season had two. This year, his vise-like 1968 drama about two brothers selling their late father’s furniture returns, at the Roundabout, for a fourth Broadway revival. Tony Shalhoub and Mark Ruffalo as the brothers, Jessica Hecht as an alcoholic wife, and Danny DeVito as the crafty furniture dealer make an ideal cast. =&14=&(4/5) Alison Janney takes on the role of Ouisa, the society lady who along with her husband (John Benjamin Hickey) falls victim to a scam that puts their liberal values in question. How John Guare’s 1990 comedy-drama may suit the more cynical zeitgeist of 2017 is something I’m eager to experience. SONDHEIM, IN A CATEGORY BY HIMSELF In the year he turns 87, our greatest living dramatist — I use that word deliberately — gets three (or four?) major productions, reflecting the breadth of his interests and the depth of his achievements. =&15=& (2/11) Last summer’s sold-out benefit concert of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize–winning musical reopens Broadway’s Hudson Theater, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Georges Seurat (and his possible grandson, George). Annaleigh Ashford is his muse. =&16=& (2/14) The winner (in a three-way tie) of New York Magazine’s Greatest Musical Ever symposium, this 1979 thriller gets a site-specific Off Broadway revival at the Barrow Street Theatre, restyled as Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop. Meat pies included (but no priest). =&17=& (4/6) CSC’s John Doyle directs a rare revival of the least performed of Sondheim’s five 1970s masterpieces, a stylistically daring take on Perry’s “opening” of Japan in the mid-1800s, and the disasters that followed. =&18=& (Fall?) Rumor has it that the Public Theater, which has been developing Sondheim’s latest, will offer a full production later this year. That its book by David Ives is based on two Luis Buñuel films — The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and That Obscure Object of Desire — only whets the appetite further. OFF BROADWAY MUSICALS =&19=& (2/1) Our other surviving Golden Age great, John Kander, will be turning 90 around the time this musical — his 20th new stage score since 1962 — debuts at the Vineyard. If you thought Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider Woman were dark, get a load of this one’s story, by Greg Pierce, about a boy who returns home after abduction by a sexual predator. =&20=& (2/14) Four years ago, the Public produced Alex Timbers’s spectacular staging of Here Lies Love, about Imelda Marcos. This year, the theater and creative team reunite for a rock-concert retelling of the life of the maid of Orleans. =&21=& (5/10) This year’s Encores! series begins with Big River and continues with a rarity: Cole Porter’s 1930 The New Yorkers. Even rarer, and more exciting to cultists, is their third offering, this sung-through 1954 resetting of the Helen-Paris-Ulysses story in turn-of-the-20th-century Washington State. NEW OFF BROADWAY PLAYS =&22=& (1/31) Every new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a mystery: Will it be hilarious? Devastating? Sadistic? A mess? The mystery deepens with the Signature’s production of his take on the 15th-century morality play Everyman. =&23=& (1/31) The premise is a hoary backstage comedy set-up, the kind Wallace Shawn usually undermines in his coruscating plays: Ten years after working together on a notorious flop, its cast and author reconvene. Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John “Lypsinka” Epperson, and Claudia Shear star in the New Group production. =&24=&(2/15) Caryl Churchill’s latest play, at BAM. Enough said. =&25=& (3/14) It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Harvey Fierstein onstage in a nonmusical role; don’t you want to know what he can do with Martin Sherman’s May–December — well, let’s say October — gay romance, at the Public? Gabriel Ebert is October. =&26=&(4/4) If Annie Baker’s plays were reducible to prose, she wouldn’t write them as theater. That’s hard on the publicists, but good for the audiences who will show up for her latest, at the Signature, open to surprise. =&27=& (5/16) Martyna Majok’s Ironbound introduced a distinctive voice to New York audiences in 2016. Her new play, at Manhattan Theatre Club, focuses on two caregivers and two people who suddenly need care. =&28=&(July) “If you knew in advance exactly what was going to happen in your life … would you still want to go on with your life?” That age-old question is tested in Bruce Norris’s latest provocation, at Second Stage, when a young woman comes into contact with her future selves. OFF BROADWAY PLAY REVIVALS =&29=&(1/11) Martin McDonagh’s 1997 debut is a bleak, hilarious mother-daughter comedy. For the Druid company’s 20th-anniversary revival at BAM, Marie Mullen moves up from daughter to mother: a riveting meta-drama if ever there was one. =&30=&
Friday, December 30, 2016
Playbill 7 Diva Performances Not to Miss in 2017 BY ANDREW GANS DEC 30, 2016 If the first half of the 2016-2017 Broadway musical season focused the spotlight more on the men—Josh Groban’s soaring vocals in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; Christian Borle and Andrew Rannells’ heartfelt performances as Marvin and Whizzer in the revival of Falsettos;and the superbly gifted Ben Platt, whose performance in the title role of Dear Evan Hansen may have raised the bar even higher for male musical theatre actors—it is the women who seem poised to steal the limelight in the second half. In fact, following memorable fall performances by Rachel Bay Jones, Stephanie J. Block, and Denée Benton, there are seven major talents heading to The Great White Way in the New Year who, simply, should not be missed. These artists, arranged in chronological order by their show’s first preview dates, follow: =&0=& =&1=& I spent a good deal of the mid-to-late ’90s (as well as several dates in the current century) catching the wonderful women who played deluded silent-screen star Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of the classic Billy Wilder film Sunset Boulevard. The many multi-talented actors who I feel privileged to have caught in the demanding role include Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Betty Buckley, Elaine Paige, Karen Mason, Petula Clark, Florence Lacey, and Loni Ackerman. Although Close’s vocals couldn’t match the stellar work of many of the other musical Normas, there was a dramatic intensity to her performance that was riveting; in fact, it was hard to take one’s eyes off her any time she was onstage in the original production. More than 20 years after that Tony-winning performance, Close returned to the role on the other side of the Atlantic, earning a 2016 Evening Standard Award for her West End debut in the English National Opera production. That staging, including the transfers of Michael Xavier as Joe Gillis, Siobhan Dillon as Betty Schaefer, and Fred Johanson as Max von Mayerling, will now play a 16-week limited engagement on Broadway, and this Sunset fan can’t wait to enter Norma’s Hollywood mansion one more time. Let’s hope this semi-staged production, which will feature a 40-piece orchestra, will extend to allow many other greats the chance to don Norma’s turban. =&2=& =&3=& When Miss Saigon opened on Broadway in 1991, following its debut in the West End, the musical made an international star out of Filipino actor Lea Salonga, who created the role of the ill-fated Kim, the young Vietnamese woman who desperately tries to secure a better life for her son, Tam, amidst the tragedies of war. Salonga’s beautiful voice and impassioned performance earned her Olivier and Tony Awards, subsequent roles in several animated Disney films, loyal fans all around the world, and, thankfully, several returns to Broadway. Now, 25 years later, another young actor, Eva Noblezada, has received a similar reception in the recent 2014 London revival of Saigon, which was preserved on film and recently screened in cinemas. I purposely avoided the screening, wanting to experience Noblezada’s performance in person when the Saigon revival transfers to Broadway later this season. The musical, for this writer, has always been the more moving of the two Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg hits, and I’m eager to catch the Broadway debut of North Carolinian Noblezada, who was discovered three years ago by the Miss Saigon casting team at the National High School Musical Theater Awards. =&4=& =&5=& It’s quite rare when a musical offers sizable roles to two of Broadway’s leading musical theatre stars, but that is exactly the case in War Paint, the new musical from the Grey Gardens team that played a sold-out, record-setting run this past summer at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The women—Patti LuPone (Evita, Gypsy) and Christine Ebersole (42nd Street, Grey Gardens) as Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, respectively—are both two-time Tony winners, and their combined theatrical powers promise one of the more exciting nights on Broadway this spring. LuPone and Ebersole are two stellar actors who also happen to boast two of the great voices that the musical theatre has produced: LuPone dazzles with her rich, soaring, and rangy alto, while Ebersole impresses with an equally rangy soprano that can be as delicate as it is powerful. Both, in fact, remain vocally, comedically, and dramatically in full command decades after their respective award-winning careers began. =&6=& =&7=& In her two major New York theatrical outings to date—the Off-Broadway debut of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and the Public Theater and Broadway premieres of Hamilton—Phillipa Soo was equally magnificent, charming audiences with her beautiful soprano as Natasha and creating the most moving moments of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda musical as Eliza, wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The young singing actor, it should be noted, earned her first Tony nomination for her work in the latter, and now she will return to Broadway in the title role of the new musical Amélie, based on the Academy Award-winning 2001 French film of the same name. The lonely French waitress who decides to act as a secret wish-fulfiller to the people who live around her seems a perfect match for Soo, who originated the role of Amélie in workshop productions of the musical and has an ethereal quality all her own. =&8=& =&9=&
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Guardian What to see on Broadway in 2017: Bette Midler, Amélie and a chocolate factory By Alexis Soloski December 28, 2016 If what’s wanted is farce and tragedy, drama and very black comedy, the inauguration of the 45th president ought to be just the ticket. As pertains to theater, the Broadway spring season promises helicopters and gypsy cabs, woodchucks and gentlemen callers, French naifs sand New York sophisticates – a mix of serious art and candy-coated entertainments. There’s nothing her to rival the playful innovations of the fall – Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Dear Evan Hansen; Oh, Hello; The Encounter – and a few too many works are revivals and movie adaptations. But there’s seemingly sufficient variety. Unless, of course, one falls victim to a Groundhog Day-style loop and must repeat the same show over and over, which is actually how a lot of seasons feel. Most of the new musicals are not precisely new, with Groundhog Day perhaps the most eagerly awaited of the bunch. Composer Tim Minchin and director Matthew Warchus have a go at replicating the magic of Matilda in this adaptation of the beloved Bill Murray film, which is part caustic comedy and part Zen koan. Andy Karl stars as a reporter in existential and temporal crisis and the advance reports from London suggest this role might just make him a star. As his character must relive the same day, expect a lot of reprises. Another film-based London import is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Christian Borle in the plum-colored finery originally modeled by Douglas Hodge. With any luck this is the show to help Broadway up its dreary concessions routine. An adaptation of a less edible film, Anastasia, with its Hartford Stage pedigree and proven creators (Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens), brings a white Russian to the Great White Way. Amélie, the first post-Hamilton show for actor Phillippa Soo, also owes a debt to cinema, and imports a madcap Frenchwoman. The rare musical to defy the film adaptation trend is Come From Away, which is based on the true story of planes grounded in Newfoundland just after 9/11. In the present political climate, this may take on an aura of wish fulfillment. And there’s also Bandstand, an original musical that merely sounds like an adaptation, a tale of a ragtag group of second world war veterans aiming to become sultans of swing. Meanwhile, helicopter blades will whirr as the London revival of Miss Saigon transfers here and petticoats will swish as the indomitable Bette Midler greets Hello, Dolly! Midler is perhaps the biggest musical star to grace the stage this season. It is seemingly a brilliant concurrence of actor and role and she has the advance box office to show for it. But many other film and television stars are set to appear in revivals, including Allison Janney (Six Degrees of Separation); Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon (The Little Foxes); Kevin Kline and Cobie Smulders (Present Laughter), Sally Field and Finn Wittrock (The Glass Menagerie), and John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub, Jessica Hecht and Danny DeVito as a family plus a furniture dealer in Arthur Miller’s The Price. The Present, a new version of Anton Chekhov’s chaotic first play, stars Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh. August Wilson’s Jitney, the only of his century cycle plays never to have appeared on Broadway, includes a cast of seasoned Wilson interpreters. The wholly original plays, all of which played off Broadway, include Paula Vogel’s enchanting Indecent, based on true events concerning Broadway’s first lesbian kiss and the obscenity charges that ensued. Meanwhile, the queer hero of Joshua Harmon’s affecting, Significant Other can’t even get a date, let alone a vice rap. Relationship are even trickier in JT Rogers’s shrewd Oslo, in which a couple of Norwegians nearly make peace in the Middle East. If that all sounds rather serious, though by no means humorless, there’s the purportedly uproarious The Play That Goes Wrong, a farce about a disastrous evening of amateur dramatics. Because it’s funny when it’s a play. Less so when it’s an election.