Clinton the Musical is about to kick off its inaugural run in New York City.
The satirical look at Bill, Hillary, and Monica Lewinsky starts off-Broadway performances in late March at New World Stages. President Clinton will be played by two actors: one who fills the role of a more serious Clinton (“W.J. Clinton,” played Tom Galantich), the other portraying a party-animal Clinton (“Billy,” played by Duke Lafoon). Kerry Butler stars as Hillary, and Veronica Kuehn as Monica.
The book for Clinton was penned by Australian writing duo and brothers Paul and Michael Hodge. Paul will also be providing music and lyrics. The original songs range from showtunes and burlesque to 1990s-pop style (think: Britney). The style of humor was partly inspired by TV shows like The Simpsons, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock.
Theatergoers should expect songs about health care, balanced budgets, and government shutdowns—but don’t expect to hear any showstoppers about, for instance, Rwanda. “We made a decision to focus on domestic issues rather than foreign policy issues,” Paul Hodge told me last summer. “When you’re covering eight years of a presidency, the amount of stuff a president has to deal with on a day-to-day basis is enormous… So there will be no international stuff.”
Here’s a sneak peek at one of the newer songs, “Lie To You,” in which W.J. and Billy sweet-talk and make their promises to Hillary and Monica, respectively. Billy and Monica kiss passionately throughout an entire chorus, and Hillary asks W.J. to assure her that the “cheating will end.”
“Wow, you’re a such a sensual kisser,” Monica remarks.
“Darlin’, I love you in blue,” Billy tells Monica, after swearing he’ll leave the First Lady to be with her “forever.”
Listen to the cast’s rehearsal of “Lie To You” below:
“You’re like my own FDR!” Hillary sings to W.J.
Here’s the poster for Clinton the Musical:
A Clinton spokesman did not respond to requests for comment regarding the satirical musical, nor did he respond to a question about whether or not either Clinton wished to attend a performance. The team over at Clinton the Musical says they would be delighted to have any of the Clintons—or Lewinsky, for that matter—attend, and are willing to provide tickets for any night.
“Being Australian, I’m neither Republican or Democrat, so I don’t come at this from any political standpoint or agenda,” Hodge said back in July. “I come at this looking at [the Clintons] as human beings.”
If you’d like to hear more of Clinton before the musical opens, here’s audio of a special performance and press conference held last summer showcasing the song, “No.” Bill and Hillary are forced to make edits to one of his speeches to avoid any potential instance of sex scandal-related double entendre.