Nobody ever expected Anthony Scaramucci to go quietly into the night after his dramatic 10-day tenure as the White House’s Director of Communications ended with him calling then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” in an interview he initiated with The New Yorker.
Almost a year after exiting stage right, Scaramucci has taken a real turn (a Rose’s turn?) into the spotlight. Despite his record of steadfastly supporting the President on cable news, “The Mooch” has slowly drifted left in his tepid Twitter criticisms of President Donald Trump. Recently, he even helped announce a new satirical musical about the President and his spawn, called “The Trump Family Special,” which will run at New York’s Triad Theater from September 13 to December 6.
“I always wanted a second White House press conference but I couldn’t get one,” Scaramucci sarcastically exclaimed to reporters at the production’s launch event.
According to the musical’s creative team, the former White House communications official agreed to help announce the show because he is an acquaintance of its composer. Director and writer Danny Salles tells Hyperallergic that Scaramucci had “a great sense of humor. To his credit, he didn’t shy away from the political leanings of the show, but found the funny in it.”
After a brief introduction from Scaramucci, the cast filed into the room as cartoonish impersonations of Ivanaka, Ivana, Eric, and Donald Jr. Trump. (Marla Maples is here too, because why not?) The quintet sang an introductory song from “Trump Family Special,” which included such jaw-dropping rhymes as, “Don’t believe our bad New York reviews/ Written by the liberal fake news/ That’s code for Jews.”
Salles says that the show offers catchy original songs that are often also biting. “The family members are devilishly drawn to capture the nefarious ways of the Trumps, but oddly ‘lovable’ in their villainy,” he added. “I think this keeps the show surprising and enjoyable rather than an angry rant, which gets old fast.”
Perhaps more shocking than the show’s lyrics (if that’s possible) is actor Gina Gershon’s featured role as Melania Trump. Known for her breakout camp roll in the cult class movie, Showgirls, Gershon bears such a striking resemblance to FLOTUS that it’s frankly unnerving. (She has played Melania before in skits for the comedy website, Funny or Die.)
The creative team behind “Trump Family Special” started their musical endeavor because of the political divide in America between Trump’s supporters and detractors. “My head was going to explode from the current political reality,” Salles added. “There is so much anger out there (much deserved) that civil conversation is becoming impossible. I wrote this comedy because laughter brings relief and eases tensions.”
This is not the first musical about Donald Trump and it certainly won’t be the last given the US President’s outsized character and bloated celebrity personality. For more serious melodic investigations of the White House, though, there are actually a handful of options. One critically acclaimed example is “First Lady Suite,” a chamber musical outlining the women of the Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, and Bush administrations which premiered at The Public Theater in 1993. (That show also had a follow-up entry called “First Daughter Suite” in 2015.)
There’s a growing interest in New York’s theater scene for more musical satires of contentious current events. Just last summer, “PharmaBro” premiered Off-Broadway with a 6-week, limited-engagement run at The Players Theatre. It was even nominated for Best New Musical of 2017–2018 by the Off-Broadway Alliance. That show imagines the Wu-Tang Clan stealing back their one-of-a-kind Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album back from Martin Shkreli. For reference, Shkreli is serving seven years in prison for illegally jacking up the price of a vital medication used against AIDS-related illnesses. Before his conviction, Shkreli frequently boasted on social media that he had the power to evade legal ramifications for his actions. Hm, I wonder who that reminds me of?