Photo via Adam Blotner

‘Trump: An American Musical’ Is a Snarky Tribute to Islamophobia, Pussy-Grabbing and Russian Hackers

Anyone want to produce this masterpiece?

by MIGUEL MIRANDA

The collective despair in the days and weeks after Donald Trump’s upsetting win in November 2016 did more than just galvanize protests. Blooming across the web were singular efforts by artists, either on their own or acting collectively, bent on weaponizing satire to undermine the oncoming evil.

Today, when the White House’s current occupants are riding roughshod over the constitution, human rights and the free press, humor has become the last line of defense against this creeping tide of authoritarianism.

And then there’s Donald Trump: An American Musical, written by Donald J. Trump. That’s the whole title!

Conceived in the final weeks of 2016, co-writers Adam Blotner and Jenny Pinzari wanted to thumb their noses at the president-elect with a stage production combining mockumentary and ham-fisted biopic. What came out was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the worst crazy from the Trump campaign, i.e. Islamophobia, pussy-grabbing and Russian hackers.

“Jenny Pinzari and I began developing it two weeks after the election,” Blotner explained. “When the paralyzing shock wore off enough that we became desperate to get active, say something, do something.”

The resulting skit, first shared on Funny or Die, Blotner’s own Popfilter.tv, and Youtube, is pretty damn funny. But in its own silly way, Trump: An American Musical serves as an entertaining testament to the craziest election season ever.

For the record, there are multiple Trump inspired theater productions. Many of them are spoofs and none are connected with the Trump organization. There’s at least one full-length musical titled Trump’d: The Musical whose story is set in 2030 after Donald turns dictator on America.

But Trump: An American Musical was supposed to be an extended gag for Youtube — or so Blotner and Pinzari thought.

“The material we presented in those five minutes was literally all of the material that we had,” Blotner said.

“After releasing the video, people kept asking us about how they could see the ‘full-length’ version. It became clear that there was a demand for this, and though we had never before written a full-length narrative musical, we were confident we had enough material from all the crap we had to digest over the past year to put it all into song and dance.”

The cast rehearsing Trump: An American Musical. Photo via Valorie Curry

Another surprise was how lukewarm the response was from real-life Trump supporters, who are often a salty and acerbic bunch. Blotner describes the criticism so far as “mostly internet trolls complaining about ‘liberal crybabies’ and a few family members who won’t return my calls.”

Blotner, who divides his time between solo gigs and being a D.J.-for-hire, shares a foundation in improv and comedy with his writing partner — and real life spouse — Pinzari.

Despite a lack of funding, Blotner and Pinzari managed to stage a reading for their musical at New York’s Feinstein’s/54 Below cabaret on Jan. 21, 2017. The set included a solo performance by the child actor Anthony Rosenthal as young Trump singing “With My Tiny Hands.”

The present material on Trump: An American Musical is very good and manages to surpass SNL’s own Trump bashing with its unique blend of catchy tunes and embarrassing on-the-nose lyrics, all based on Trump’s real life antics.

There are still no dates for Trump: An American Musical but considering how relevant the songs are, maybe it does need a bigger audience — and venue.

Will Erat (Trump) and Sam Underwood (Billy Bush) performing ‘Locker Room Talk.’ Photo via Adam Blotner

Like Broadway.

The subject matter is topical, relevant, incredibly vulgar and is a perfect fit for the absurd leadership America and the rest of the world have to put up with until 2020. Did I mention funny?

Besides, its creators and the entire cast are either seasoned musicians or theater folks. They have what it takes to pull it off. Veteran stage actor Will Erat, for example, did not mind taking the lead role and even shares a duet with Pinzari, who does a mean Ivanka Trump.

But as with every serious stage production, the missing ingredient is a producer. Or producers.

“We are definitely looking for a producer who will walk in and hand us a pile of money to get this show started,” Blotner admitted.

“We’d love to take it across America and even internationally. Our country is such a joke to the rest of the world right now, we should at least pretend like we’re in on the joke.”

Did you read that, Mel Brooks?

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