Funny and True! Campaigns, Inc. at TimeLine Theatre Company (Through September 18, 2022)

It is 1934 and the race for California’s Governor is heating up. Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle and many other books, is the democratic candidate. With Charlie Chaplin on his side, he is running a strong campaign. Frank Mirriam, the Republican incumbent, decides to hire political consultants. They decide to run ads presenting things that Sinclair’s characters said in his books as if he said them himself. It’s a strong smear campaign.

Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker are the political consultants. Frank Mirriam assumes Clem is doing most of the work since he is the man. The audience is conflicted in hoping Leone can be successful as a woman in this male dominated field while also not supporting her cause. There is also some chemistry between Leon and Clem.

Photos by Brett Beiner Photography

While this production is very funny, it is also very upsetting realizing how similar it is to our current issues with “fake news”. The play shows how effective these political consultants can be in having their candidate win, instead of the best candidate. Will Allan has truly written a great piece for his first full-length play.

Terry Hamilton is excellent as Frank Mirriam. Anish Jethmalani (In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play) is great as the inspiring Upton Sinclair with an EPIC plan. Tyler Meredith (The Columnist, Spinning) is great as Leone Baxter, who is unfazed by bending the truth to win. Yuriy Sardarov is great as Clem Whitaker, who is Leone’s greatest supporter and ally. Dave Honigman is excellent as Charlie Chaplin, who is rightfully hesitant to be public about his politics. Mark Ulrich is hilarious as the incumbent Lt. Governor who doesn’t get much respect from Mirriam.  Jacqueline Grandt is superb in her many roles including Eleanor Roosevelt, who strongly disagrees with her husband on some issues. David Parkes is solid in his many roles, including as FDR, who delivers one of the biggest surprises of the show.

When entering the theatre, you will notice a large screen playing clips from screwball comedies of the 30’s. A big part of the set is located behind this movable screen. Thus, the best seats are on this side of the theatre, about 3 rows up, towards the middle aisle.

Get tickets now for Campaigns, Inc. through September 18th!

Cost of a ticket: $47

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It +

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

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