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TO MARCH 31
What do you get when you take four Democratic presidential candidates and one gay saint and put them in the basement of a Catholic church? No, the answer’s not a punch line to one of your Uncle Earl’s tasteless jokes. It’s Les MacDonald’s fast-paced, one-man comedic romp, So Help Me, God. MacDonald, an erstwhile political consultant, has combined his passions for politics and performance to create a witty, 60-minute show that will probably be most appreciated by the politically astute. Observing an electoral rite of passage, four contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination make a pilgrimage to a church in Iowa to ask the patron saint of politics for guidance—and victory—on the night before the state’s caucuses. The scenario perfectly suits MacDonald’s greatest strength as a performer—his keen ability to expose the hypocrisy that he believes imbues both politics and religion. One can’t help but be entertained as MacDonald moves from the hard-heartedness of California Gov. Blue Smith to the manic phoniness of self-help guru John Brimsheer. Or saddened by his portrayal of Wisconsin Sen. Max Seagrams, whose ill-fated decision to bike across the Hawkeye State leaves him with little more than a sore ass. MacDonald shows off his serious, if sometimes preachy side, by slipping into heels and a huge white wig to play Rep. Deb Michaels, a character confronted by a news leak that reveals she missed a debate to attend her gay son’s wedding. Vote for your favorite at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, to Friday, March 31, at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, 1556 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $10. (202) 347-5151. (Chris Cillizza)