Caged children, pee tapes, Russian collusion, North Korean deal or no deals, Sarah Sanders, Mike Pence, Michael Cohen, Ivanka, Melania, Stormy, Manafort, witch hunts, fake news, travel ban, tariffs…how much is too much? Can any one person be reasonably expected to deal with the onslaught of muck? There is one person who can – the unflappable former FBI director and current Special Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, Robert S. Mueller III. Because, he says, “like Ferris, justice is a big wheel that keeps on turning.”
But the Brave New Workshop thinks Mueller, played by the Andy Samberg-esque Tom Reed, needs a day off, to loosen his starched collar, and relax. So while down the street at The Orpheum, Eliza Hamilton pleads with Alexander to “Take a Break,” which he famously does not, leading to disastrous consequences, Mueller has a cocktail and sets out to recharge his batteries in “Ferris Mueller’s Day Off.”
What follows are a series of often hilarious vignettes tackling some of today’s most relevant aggressions and micro-aggressions. Taj Ruler and Denzel Belin take a break of their own in a great riff about diversity. Ryan Nelson shines in his send-up of Donald J. Trump himself. “Snake in the Grass,” a rousing musical number about Mike (“he’ll look you straight in the eye while he fucks the middle class”) Pence, closes the first act with gusto.
Audiences will certainly appreciate the nods to the original “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and can relate to stories about the good old days, Target marketers telling us how to feel in the form of inspirational sayings on throw pillows, coffee mugs, and cake servers (“eat, cake, love”), rando Uber drivers named Carl, and a borderline irrational hatred of a certain brand of ice cream.
One outrageous stand-out sketch is about Borsh, an app that helps facilitate a particular service that may be difficult to come by in a Pencian world order. It might send sensitive souls laughing all the way to the fainting couch. And the brilliant Lauren Anderson is a delight to watch throughout the show, but absolutely slays as a millennial “feminist” playing off of a much agitated Ruler.
In the end Mueller, the unlikely hero who is countering a Congress who is “doing the bare minimum of checks and balances to keep the democracy afloat,” saves the republic with a most satisfying, (well, maybe not for humorless MAGA types) conclusion.
Brave New Workshop’s 298thComedy Revue – “Ferris Mueller’s Day Off” is directed by Caleb McEwen, and runs through October 27. Tickets are $25-36, and are available at www.BraveNewWorkshop.com.