President Harding is a Rock Star
Music and Text by Kyle Jarrow
Directed by Alex Timbers
Produced by Aaron Lemon-Strauss and Jennifer Rogien
Scenic Design: David Evans Morris
Lighting Design: Juliet Chia
Costume Design: Caroline Duncan
Casting Director: Paul Davis
Stage Manager: Kat West
Press Consultant: Corinne Zadik
Press Representation: Melis Bilgin, The Bruce Cohen Group
Cast: Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum, Ryan Karels, Damian Long, Elizabeth Meriwether, Gerardo Rodriguez, Caesar Samayoa, Simone Zamore
Musicians: Kyle Jarrow, Michael Tapper
A searing vision of American fears and follies, seen through the eyes of rock star president Warren G. Harding.
Warren G. Harding was a hard-living, hard-loving rock star. He was the most attractive president in American history-- as well as the worst. Drunk on scotch, Harding gambled away the White House china in a poker game. He appointed gangsters and con men to cabinet positions. He trysted with his teenage mistress in the Oval Office closet. He died in a San Francisco hotel room in 1923. The alleged cause was food poisoning, from a serving of bad crab, but rumors of murder swept the country. Was he killed by his long-suffering wife? Or by his own decadence? Was he a man ahead of his time, or a bumbling idiot?
Punk postmodernist theater company Les Freres Corbusier brings you sex, murder, and American history with a live rock and roll soundtrack.
July-August 2003: HERE Arts Center
"Inspired!... In the manic imagination of this show's creator, Kyle Jarrow, President Warren G. Harding wore black leather pants and a shirt ripped open to the navel, snorted coke in the Oval Office with Napoleon and Alexander Hamilton, and belted his stump speech and tariff laws as Tommy-esque rock ballads. With an energetic young cast, well directed by Alex Timbers, who has a sketch comic's instinct for physical comedy."
-The New Yorker
"President Harding Is a Rock Star is like a surreal lesson in American history, well laced with speed... a smartly produced, tantalizingly fresh, high-energy rock musical!"
"No political rally gone bad or front-page scandal could prepare America's 29th president for the avant-garde chaos that abounds in this theatrical spectacle... Suspend your conviction in historical doctrine to delight in this titillating, punk-postmodern corruption of political lore. Harding's tenure as president may not shine like a beacon in American history, but with a mic in his hand and a flask in his pocket this bad ass politician sure can rock!"