‘Randy Rainbow for President’ zings Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Randy Rainbow, chief of the musical theater resistance to Donald Trump and his prepare of fascist Mini-mes, had a marketing campaign cease at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre for his “Randy Rainbow for President” tour on Friday.

His platform? Make America Homosexual Once more. (He mentioned he’s vying to be the primary twink within the White Home since Jared Kushner.) However what he’s actually after is to revive the nation’s fabulousness with a concentrated dose of frequent sense.

Half video karaoke, half piano bar flooring present, half infomercial for his personal singular stardom, the night showcased Rainbow’s many colours. For a performer who confessed that he thinks in present tunes, he definitely is aware of methods to bewitch an viewers with musical theater classics retooled to place lunkhead politicians with malicious agendas of their place.

Rainbow is accompanied on stage by a trio of musicians (music director Alexandre Marr on piano, David Wolbert on bass and Ryan Folger on drums). However his true co-star was himself on display screen. He sang alongside to a choice of a few of his personal greatest movies. Sound and picture weren’t at all times in sync, however the stage present (below the music supervision of Michael J. Moritz Jr.) by no means missed a beat.

Rainbow’s parody lyrics, which seem as subtitles, practically upstaged him with their zingy brilliance. His high-profile admirers — together with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the late Stephen Sondheim — are particularly discerning relating to comedian wordplay. Rainbow was clever to throw a highlight on his verbal virtuosity.

Randy Rainbow belts out a tune in “Randy Rainbow for President” on the Orpheum Theatre on January 19, 2024.

(Chiara Alexa / For The Instances)

Grumpy Trumpy Felon From Jamaica in Queens!,” a model of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” impressed by Trump’s first indictment, was the night showstopper. However there’s loads of competitors with a catalog as intensive as Rainbow’s. “Don’t Arraign on His Parade” — this one provoked by the Georgia indictment — introduced out the singer’s Humorous Lady brio.

Authentic materials was intermixed with viral movies. Marc Shaiman collaborated with Rainbow on the present’s title track, “Randy Rainbow for President,” and Alan Menken co-wrote with Rainbow “Pink Glasses,” a track concerning the star’s signature accent, which represents not solely a daring vogue selection however a gently accepting means at trying on the world.

Mockery of all issues Trump was the principle order of enterprise. Rainbow is aware of his viewers, an older demographic (or at the very least older than I anticipated). An excellent share of these in attendance appeared on furlough from their nightly MSNBC marathon. Not a Lindsey Graham or Kim Davis joke sneaked previous this politically astute crowd.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was roasted to a blond crisp in a revamped model of “Have a look at me I’m Sandra Dee” from “Grease.” I hoped Rainbow would do an all-out model of his “Evergreen” MTG spoof, however singing that reside would been dangerous and listening to the controversial Georgia consultant described as “Trump with a handbag, solely worse” was well worth the worth of admission. The cultural warmongering of Gov. Ron DeSantis bought spanked in “Welcome to DeSantis,” a bouncy borrowing from the musical “Hairspray” that rubbed LGBTQ+ salt within the failed Republican challenger’s self-inflicted wounds.

The book jacket of Randy Rainbow's upcoming book, "Low-Hanging Fruit."

Throughout his Jan. 19 present on the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, singer and comic Randy Rainbow introduced he’ll launch a brand new ebook this fall.

(St. Martin’s Press)

Rainbow had teased that he can be breaking information at his L.A. engagement, and I puzzled if he is likely to be saying that “Randy Rainbow for President” was heading to Broadway. Because it turned out, the information was a couple of new ebook he’d be releasing within the fall, “Low-Hanging Fruit: Glowing Wines, Champagne Issues, and Urgent Points from my Homosexual Agenda,” a follow-up to his 2022 memoir “Enjoying With Myself.”

On this agonizing election 12 months, it could be a public service for Rainbow to carry his comedian reduction marketing campaign to Broadway. However his well-manicured present would first want a theatrical increase.

Drag queen backup singers would assist, to dispense with the low-hanging fruit. However Rainbow, who has a modesty about him, must be extra ferociously unleashed. It generally appeared as if he may desire to ship his snarky quips by way of the security of social media. Maybe a much bigger crew of writers may give him the peace of mind that he had the comedian items.

On video, Rainbow’s voice is remarkably adaptable, nearly chameleon-like in its skills. Over the course of a full present, with out recourse to enhancing, its limitations change into obvious. Not that he’s not tremendously gifted, however he must share the stage.

A Broadway presentation of “Randy Rainbow for President” would profit from visitor stars. Think about if his partner-in-parody Patti LuPone made a cameo to carry out her duet with Rainbow, “If Donald Bought Fired,” a sendup of “If Momma Was Married” from “Gypsy.” Broadway may use a great selection present, and Rainbow has that very same high quality that made his beloved good friend Carol Burnett the quintessential selection present host — ecstatic fandom.

Extra glitter, extra particular results (Rainbow, who has a fey, puckish presence, actually should fly throughout the stage at the very least as soon as, à la Sandy Duncan in “Peter Pan”) and just a little extra comedian hazard. “Randy Rainbow for President” is diverting in its current kind, however a critic can dream of a extra souped-up version that will theatrically draw out the brilliance of this web sensation.

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