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THEATER REVIEW

It's a second term for 'Dubya'

The ambitious sequel provokes and amuses before ending on a serious note, issuing a direct challenge to audience members.

September 25, 2004|David C. Nichols | Special to The Times

Ominous accents spur the mania of "Dubya 2004" at Sacred Fools. One moves through a patriotically crammed lobby past scary G-men who case a space remade as conventioneer's nightmare.

Carlos Fedos' Old Glory set surrounds a tower of televised babble that spews campaign stumps, newscast shills, 9/11 images and more. Mark McClain Wilson's sound lurches from Sousa to remixed national anthem, Orwellian slogans flash and a party smoker of diabolical scope begins.

After two-plus hours of unbridled provocation, it ends in sobriety, with a direct challenge to the viewer.

For all its scabrous tabloid vulgarity, this ambitious sequel to "Dubya 2000" goes where Kitty Kelley fears to tread. Its valid core questions counter the puerile excesses of writer-director Joe Jordan's shameless, Air America Radio-meets-National Lampoon approach.

Conor Duffy is a riotous title figurehead, Troy Joe Vincent and Alicia Wollerton his outrageous parents.

The "24"-flavored cover-up narrative gains credibility via Jenette Goldstein's FBI widow, David Huynh's son, Jacob Sidney's dog-wagger and Assaf Cohen's terrorist.

David LM Mcintyre's Florida governor goes beyond outre, but he hijacks the house. Tom Kiesche's California counterpart and the Olsen twins of Shannon Tesser and Emily Marver steal it back.

Lisa Anne Nicolai's sequestered first lady, Yvonne Fisher's Camelot link, Jennifer France's campaign sorceress and Frank Stasio's Secret Service replicant are no less insidious. Aldrich Allen, Kathi Copeland and Eric Johnson complete a fearless ensemble.

The ace designers include Kate Morrison (lights), Cynthia Herteg (costumes), Maxx Gillman (videos) and Hans Gelpke (props), and musical director Eric Layer rocks out. So does this dark cautionary in cartoon camouflage. Its agitprop agents turn full-frontal satire into an electoral wake-up call.

*

'Dubya 2004'

Where: Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, Hollywood

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays

Ends: Oct. 16

Price: $18

Contact: (310) 281-8337 or www.SacredFools.org

Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

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