Rocking The White House: The Deciders hit the Fringe!

Within Reach Entertainment, Ltd. presents
Mitch Kess’ rock musical about Power, Patriotism, and Propaganda…

The New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC
A production of The Present Company
August 8 – 24
Tickets: $15. For tickets visit

Within Reach Entertainment, Ltd. is proud to present The Deciders as part of the 12th annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC. “I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation, but I’m the decider, and I decide what is best.” When President George W. Bush uttered this phrase on April 18, 2006, it was a cringe felt round the world, finally forcing more Americans to take a good hard look at Bush’s words and actions. New York City musician and playwright, Mitch Kess looked at these words and actions and created some of his own: the rock musical, The Deciders, joining this year’s Fringe Festival after a triumphant staging earlier in the year. The production will have a limited run at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University.

Mixing reality with satire, The Deciders weaves the paranoid parable of Dubya, Dick, and Condi – architects of the Iraq War, their “real” reasons for it, and those who have to live with the consequences. Along the way, we discover a Saddam double had been running Iraq. Concerned with plummeting approval for the war and his future legacy, Bush offers to save the imprisoned Saddam’s life if he will help to restore order in Iraq. Saddam agrees, but only if his musical is given a Broadway run. Turning surreal into real this plotline isn’t far from the truth. In a February of 2004 article entitled “What Went Wrong,” Newsweek reported that the Iraqi National Theater was turning Saddam Hussein’s first novel, “Zabibah and the King,” into a musical … at the time of the U.S. led invasion. The Deciders’ driving rock score also features “A Nation Rocked to Sleep.” Kess’ music brings to life the raw emotions expressed in the poem written by Carly Sheehan. It was this poem that pulled her mother, Cindy Sheehan, from depression to dedicating her life to waking up a nation after the death of her son in Iraq. The character of “Cindy Sheehan” sings the piece in the production.

On the eve of a landmark election, The Deciders’ liberal mix of The Producers with Cradle Will Rock, plus a touch of Little Shop of Horrors and a healthy dose of “ripped from the headlines” reality could very well be the tonic this nation needs.

The energetic ensemble features Erik Hogan as the devout Dubya; John Stillwaggon as the dark “Dick;” Carla Euphrates Kelly as Condi; Paul Sadlik as Saddam; Dana Iannuzzi as Riverbend, an Iraqi blogger; and Amber Carson as Cindy. Rounding the ensemble are Dustin Cross, Michael Ruocco, and Rashad Webb; with Apphia Campbell, Momo Kajiwara, Maggie Glassman, and Susannah McLeod as a bevy of singing Fox News reporters called “The Foxes.” J. Michaels directs with David Fletcher as music director.

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