‘Michele!’ Left-Leaning Minnesota Thespian Produces Bachmann Musical (VIDEO)

October 15, 2010 4:03 a.m.

Minnesota politics just got a bit more dramatic, with the introduction of “Michele! A Musical Bachumanntary,” a satirical musical from left-leaning thespian James Detmar.

Detmar told TPM that the inspiration for “Michele!” came after being inundated by news stories about Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Several months ago, he was driving home when another story about Bachmann came on the radio, and pushed him over the edge.

“It’s not like I have a bunch of money to dump into the Tarryl Clark campaign to even things out,” said the 30-year theater veteran, referring to Bachmann’s Democratic challenger. “What I am good at is putting together a show.”[TPM SLIDESHOW: The Year of Michele Bachmann]

“Michele!” is largely set on Bachmann’s original election date, November 7, 2006, and also includes vignettes focusing on Bachmann’s youth, her family, and eventually leads up to election night 2010.

Detmar said the narrative style allows the show to avoid hammering Bachmann directly, and instead take shots at the “musical.”

“It makes it more palatable. Otherwise I might as well just write a blog and blast her,” he said.

Detmar does, however, say that he doesn’t believe Bachmann’s good for Minnesota.

“I find her to be an embarrassment to the state, truly,” he said. “She’s just outlandish.”

In a review, the Star Tribune acknowledged the show’s political points, but wrote that it’s not destined for any Tony Awards:

The idea of bald politics masquerading as theater is sort of invigorating. As Lisa Simpson put it, “Ooh! A political discussion at our table. I feel like a Kennedy!” But unless the work is done right, political satire can provide some of the most earnestly square evenings you’ll ever spend in a theater (cross-reference: Mark Russell). “Michele” has its moments: a precious few inspired, many others merely clever and too many that are (as Lisa’s brother would say) lame-o.

Not surprisingly, Bachmann hasn’t yet attended the show, which is at the Theatre Garage in Minneapolis. But Detmar said he would be happy to provide free tickets if she wants to come out. In fact, any card-carrying member of the Republican Party gets $5 off admission.

Ultimately, Detmar hopes the show will spur interest in Minnesota politics and inspire people to learn more about Bachmann.

“I think an educated voting populace will make the right choices more often than not,” he said.

And just for good measure, the show includes a mock Tom Emmer ad:

Team Bachmann did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

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