The First Canadian President of the United States - Switched to Overload
Multi-multi term politician Kimberly White White (Priscilla Yakielashek) has returned to the Manitoba riding where she was first elected to give an address and share the “real story” of her rise from the daughter of a white trash criminal (“We weren’t trailer trash, trailers weren’t fast enough for Daddy. We were someone else’s Chevy trash”) to Prime Minister of Canada and ultimately the first Canadian President of the United States of North America.
It is 2084 and the countries of Canada, the United States and Mexico have created the corporate invention of the United States of North America, it only has one ultraconservative political party & is completely controlled by China but they still refer to it as “the democracy”. In White White’s White House power is maintained with a pretty smile, hair in a tight bun and well-chosen silence. Intelligence has long gone out of fashion, which doesn’t bother the President as it was never her style. Reminiscent of the Orwellian warnings of mind and emotion control found in 1984, we find 2084 contains a brain chip that streams the President’s speeches right into her head & a “behavioral override chip”…which I am sure is only to be used for good? Well, today President White White finds that the script for her speech has left her head & that her long-time speechwriter, mentor (& lover?) Roger has taken over her behavioral override chip after being fired. Apparently he had outlived or outworked his usefulness and it was time for him to be terminated – they are on the way – they will find him, but before they do he has a score or two to settle with White White with some funny results.
Writer Jem Rolls creates a Palin-esque character in Kimmy White White who says words like truthiness and complexicate and has views of the world that would make any Democrat/Liberal break out in a cold sweat and Tommy Douglas roll over in his grave . Using “double-speak” like “Don’t Do, Do Don’t, that’s what I say.” Kimmy justifies her entitlement to riches of power and money in a way that would make Rush Limbaugh and Stephen Harper proud. She only breaks the veneer of her flawless skin, perfect life & magazine smile when she is inhabited by speechwriter Roger. Rolls is a talented writer who has created some beautiful passages and a few comic gems however, as this one-woman show continues it begins to feel longer than its 60 minutes and the ideas repeat themselves. The word are blunt and frighteningly closer to the truth of the near future than many of us would like to imagine – but they are neither subtle enough nor cutting enough to create the fast paced satire that I was expecting. The audience was engaged in the story but there was little laughter in the theatre. Yakielashek is an energetic performer who engages, entertains and terrifies the audience with her charming voice and animated facial expressions. The show has a bit of preaching to the choir - an address about the “right winged crazies” putting money and power first and people last - a cautionary tale of what could happen if we let Big Brother continue to grow. Entertaining but not hilarious.