New play takes inspiration from our leaders’ libidos
- Last Updated: 11:42 PM, August 9, 2012
- Posted: 11:28 PM, August 8, 2012
With reality like this, who needs fiction? Which is why, when Mario Correa decided to do a play about politics and sex, he zeroed in on some real, recent scandals.
Enter “Tail! Spin!” Opening Saturday at the Fringe Festival, it’s made up entirely of actual e-mails, IMs and press-conference transcripts.
“The show is primarily a comedy, so I wanted these scandals to be preposterous,” says Correa, 43, a former congressional aide (for Maryland’s Connie Morella) turned high-tech-company lobbyist turned writer. “They really deal with hypocrisy, narcissism and a general level of cluelessness.”
His handpicked quartet of the inept are Larry Craig, the senator who infamously played footsie in an airport bathroom; Gov. Mark Sanford, who skipped out with an Argentine hottie; Rep. Mark Foley, texter of teenage boys; and New York’s own Anthony Weiner, who e-mailed some lucky young women close-ups of his crotch.
“Every single one of them did something stupid,” says Sean Dugan, who plays Craig alongside Mo Rocca’s Sanford, Dan Hodapp’s Foley and Nate Smith’s Weiner. “That’s why they got caught. If you have a United States senator in an airport bathroom, it’s just weird that he’d put his leg and his hand under the stall.”
Rachel Dratch, the former “Saturday Night Live” jill-of-all-trades who plays the women in the foursome’s lives, found the show a learning experience.
“I wasn’t really familiar with Larry Craig’s wife, so my first instinct was to play her like a typical ‘stand by your man’ lady,” she says. “Then I thought it was too much of a stereotype. But I watched the tapes, and she is kind of a stereotype in the way she reacted to the whole thing!”
Jenny Sanford was another story.
“She broke the mold of the political wife by leaving her husband,” Correa says. “It was a real love story on Sanford’s part, and as a result it became the wife’s opportunity to say ‘F - - k this!’ She didn’t play along.”
Indeed, Sanford emerges as the lone romantic:
“Despite the best efforts of my head, my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your fingertips and an even deeper connection to your soul,” he e-mailed his paramour.
Compare and contrast with a typical Foley IM: “Well, I have a totally stiff wood now.”
Dratch finds at least something to cheer in Sanford. “Once he’s busted, [he] doesn’t try to lie about it,” she says. “He just goes on about his love affair, sounding like a junior-high girl. The others can get a little sad and depressing, but this one is kinda fun.
“Well,” she adds, “not for his wife and kids, but for us viewers.”
“Tail! Spin!” runs Saturday through Aug. 16 at the Kraine Theatre, 85 E. Fourth St.; tickets, $15 to $18, at 866-468-7619.