A president so clueless that he has to be told by his cabinet what to do next? A president who has extramarital affairs right in the Oval Office? A president so beholden to oil companies that their corporate scandals are virtually ignored? A First Lady who leads a childlike president around by the nose? It could be a parade of recent presidents from Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr. and Reagan, or it could be one single scandal-ridden president from the Roaring Twenties named Warren Harding who, amazingly enough, did all of this and more in less than a single term before dying in office. If this doesn’t sound like the stuff of vaudeville-style musical comedy, in the hands of a talented ensemble Porchlight Musical Theatre cast and author, librettist and composer Jon Steinhagen, it works remarkably well. Steinhagen uses the popular musical styles, pop culture references and carefree manner of the day to fashion an immensely entertaining and witty new work that can often make you laugh out loud at the lunacy of a bygone era until you realize with a sock-in-the-gut revelation that we could just as easily be looking in the mirror and laughing at ourselves. (Dennis Polkow)
“The Teapot Scandals” runs at the Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 West Belmont, (773)327-5252, through March 11.