Electile Dysfunction is a very funny show. Act II Playhouse is performing quite a community service, since the current election news ranges from ridiculous to terrifying. Laughter is certainly called for and three comedians and a pianist (Owen Robbins) have written and perform a revue to tremendous opening night response. The title refers to audience members who have trouble “getting excited” over the current candidates.
Director Tony Braithwaite, further illustrates his point with a witty video, taken right in front of Act II, featuring “man on the street” interviews with whomsoever was passing by. These people prove to be very “unsatisfied” with the current candidates, and it’s surprising to see how many Amblerites find Trump the better alternative.
Unlike most of the late night comics, Tony Braithwaite, Tracie Higgins, and Will Dennis do not have a specific point of view. They proudly proclaim to be “equal opportunity offenders.” Tracie’s Hillary takes acting lessons to improve her speaking style, while Donald Trump, (Tony in an elaborate wig) runs for the office of Mayor of Ambler. This Trump skewers local personalities and places exactly as the presidential candidate does.
There is a newscast pulled from today’s Inquirer, which will change nightly, as well as an improvisation involving an audience member, randomly abducted from the crowd, who, fortunately last night, was a good sport. The major highlight is a press conference about today’s political situation with former presidents, (Bush, Reagan, Clinton etc) and other political figures (Palin, McCain) taking questions from reporters. A memorable Will Dennis. Tony Briathwaite scores spectacularly, as he changes personalities and physicalities with lighting speed. Even Andrew Jackson offers opinions about the coming election. He does a good Andrew Jackson.
The three performers are so comically adept than even if a joke doesn’t receive the expected reaction, one suspects that the performance will tighten and improve with each performance. The simple red-white-and-blue setting is by Adam Riggar, with the spot-on lighting by Andy Shaw.
It is forbidden for critics to reveal favorite lines in a revue such as this, as it spoils the audience enjoyment if they’ve heard the joke. I’ll break that rule just once with this favorite quote, ably delivered by pianist Owen Robbins:
President Harry S. Truman: “My choice early in life, was either to be the piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth there’s hardly any difference.”
If you are experiencing Erectile Dysfunction, and having difficulty “getting excited,” laughter just might be the perfect prescription.
Running Time: 70 minutes, without an intermission.