The late, great U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill could well have added to his axiom that "all politics is local," the observation that it’s also personal in some dark and misguided and screwball ways. Young playwright Josh Tobiessen’s 2007 wacky comedy "Election Day" is a lively reminder that’s so.
The witty production directed at break neck speed by Lizette Marie Morris is just in time to corroborate what the Republicans are showing the nation on a daily basis, that the misbehavior of candidates and their supporters can be mind-boggling.
The Happy Medium Theater production about getting even is at the Factory Theater through Feb. 18.
One of the fringe theaters that’s been on the scene for several seasons now, HMT is again doing what it does so well: providing stories centered by a more or less sane person with whom we can identify in a situation where everyone else is daffy, fascinatingly so. Our doppelganger pushed to the breaking point teeters but remains standing.
A laid back Adam (Andy Hicks), still in his pajamas, was having a leisurely start to the day when his high octane girlfriend (E. Abigail Matzeder), dressed for what looks like a executive level business meeting, begins to nag him to remember to vote.
The polling place is nearby but in her obsessively administrative manner she’s mapped out how he can get there, and get there he’d better is her message.
She strides off to drum up more voters for her campaign against candidate for mayor Jeffrey Clark, whose very name brings a scowl to her face.
No sooner is Brenda out the door when a whirlwind breezes in, in the form of Adam’s step-sister Cleo, delightfully played by Lesley Anne Moreau, with a granola nuttiness that hints here and there at being more shrewd than lunatic.
Her politics are of a more extreme brand. She’s involved with eco-terrorists having to do with the excessive logging of trees. Her backpack is stuffed with Molotov cocktails, but her mind is more on getting it on sexually with whoever is closest at hand. That includes an appalled Adam, which would not be incestuous to her mind because they are both adopted.
She seems, by the way, to have joined up with this band of warring tree huggers as a means of sleeping with its leader, the mentally unstable Edmund (in a whimsical performance from Mike Budwey). The activist leader’s own morals in the bed and political arenas leave a lot to be desired.
She makes you dizzy but her alley cat thinking is kittenish in the wake of the next visitor, the very politician against who the girlfriend is campaigning strong arms his way in the door ostensibly to pick up a vote.
The mesmerizing Sean A. Cote is pitch perfect as the ever smiling, ambitious mayoral candidate who takes everything in stride and who’ll do anything to have you vote for him.
The costuming from Meagan Becker is deliciously apt, most particularly the L.L.Bean woodsy plaid jacket and warden hat with full flap ear muffs for the demented Edmund and the many pocketed long chino skirt topped by varied colored hand crocheted sweaters for Cleo.
The just right scenic design comes from the same Sean A. Cote who so brilliantly portrays the mayoral hopeful. The lighting from Greg Jutkiewicz helps to set the tone.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say, but "Election Day" demonstrates it’s a lot more fun ladled up with a madcap flair.
Happy Medium Theatre’s production of "Election Day" by Josh Tobiessen directed by Lizette M. Morris runs through Feb. 18 Thursdays thru Saturdays with a Sun., Feb. 12 4pm matinee. Performed in the Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont St. at the back of the Piano Craft Building a block from Mass. Ave. For more info you can go to www.happymediumtheatre.com.