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The Stage Is Alive With ‘The Sound of Palin’

Courtesy Gross National Product
In the play "The Sound of Palin," Christine Thompson portrays the former Alaska governor.

The show’s small cast plays a range of characters, including Palin’s daughters Piper and Bristol, who leaves to join “Dancing with the Stars.” Palin’s husband, Todd, spends the entire show mumbling and fishing. Simmons plays conservative politician Karl Rove, the eventual villain of the show. He sings “Climbs Every Pollster” when Palin is elected president thanks to his new Chamber of Commerce donations.

The show will also feature the audience-inspired improvisation for which the troupe is famous and several other politically inspired sketches. In addition to welcoming the new freshman class to Congress, the actors will poke fun at President Barack Obama and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), as well as creationism, the deficit and the filibuster.

“The story now is not Obama, it’s the new Congress,” Simmons said. “Our job is to get them to laugh, and Congress is a laughable thing.”

In addition to Simmons and Thompson, comedians Nora Achrati, Colby Codding and Hyla Matthews act in the show.

“The Sound of Palin” is the group’s first show with a female title character. As more women continue to enter politics, GNP has responded by changing the composition of its troupe. “It’s a new, exciting group of people,” Simmons said.

“We’ve never done three women and two men before.”

GNP has been parodying politicians in some form since the early 1980s. In addition to performances in 45 states, GNP has presented longer runs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. The group traditionally begins new shows in Washington, D.C.

“It’s theater mixed with parodies and fast-paced political and social commentary,” Simmons said. “We’re the delta force of comedy.”

“The Sound of Palin” will be performed at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St. NE) on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Feb. 18.

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