By Ashley Lee, The Hollywood Reporter
Michael Moore is headed to Broadway.
Michael Mayer, the Tony-winning director of the original Spring Awakening as well as the hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival, will stage the IMG Original Content production. The comedic show will mark Moore’s New York stage debut.
“I’m in a ‘take no prisoners’ mode,” Moore explained at a press conference at Sardi’s. “We’ve seen newspapers take down presidents, TV shows bring down CEOs, books have taken down the powerful — art forms have contributed to making things better…. Why don’t we see if every night — and twice in the afternoon for 12 weeks — if a piece of theater could raise enough of a ruckus to discombobulate a man sitting in the Oval Office? I don’t know, but I’d like to find out. Hey, stranger things have happened in the last year.”
The limited 12-week engagement will begin previews at Belasco Theatre on July 28 before an opening night on August 10. “I operate with the hope that he won’t be president for very long,” said Moore. “This is a limited 12-week run, I guess I would like Trump to have the same thing. Should he not be President by the end of the run, if you have tickets for the last week, it’ll still be as good as the first week.” Of the comedic tone, Moore noted, “Comedy is a very important part of our citizen action…. We need an army of satirists — [Trump’s] Achilles heel is his very, very thin skin.”
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Each 90-minute show will be unique, with surprise guest stars and Moore’s comments responding to the news of the day. “The event of the show will actually begin as people assemble outside the Belasco Theater and will continue after the show’s over — there might be some impromptu excursions after the show to places that might be nearby. You can do the math,” teased Mayer of Trump Tower. “I think everyone’s going to be having a unique, exciting, and politically incendiary experience.” At each performance, the theater’s presidential box will remain reserved for Trump and his family. “Every night, it will be empty until he sits there. I hope he comes to see it, or his family, or the vice president — we won’t boo him!” said Moore in reference to Mike Pence’s headline-making attendance at Hamilton. “It’s not like anything I think you’ve really seen. I think there will be a subversive yet urgent tone and sense to this. People will be very surprised in a good way.”
Moore — who previously starred in a post-9/11 one-man show in London and took the stage to talk politics in his most recent film Michael Moore in TrumpLand — also stressed to reporters that the show will not only skewer Trump (“There are a ton of other things going on in the world that will be discussed,” he said) and won’t just be targeting a liberal audience. “I have found that Republicans or conservatives often will come to my films in part because I speak the language of the Midwest; the people who voted for Trump are my neighbors. I’m always excited to talk to them. I’ve noticed since the election that people who voted for Trump will stop and talk to me on the street because before the election, I was the only liberal who said he was gonna win. I took it seriously. I didn’t think it was just a joke.”
Still, Moore added, “as far as preaching to the choir, it’s been rough for tens of millions of Americans since the 8th of November. Sometimes the choir needs a song to sing, and this is a necessary and important moment to provide that.”
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