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Larry Littany Litt


"Killin’ Republicans," a rock opera

"Killin’ Republicans," a rock opera
Concept and Libretto by Dick D. Zigun
Music Composed by Arturo Rodriguez
Directed by vagabond
November 30 to December 17, 2023
Presented by Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., NYC
Reviewed by Larry Littany Litt on Dec. 10, 2023

Members of Coney Island Polar Bears Club gathered November 30, 2023 at preview of "Killin' Republicans," a rock opera by Dick D. Zigun, at Theater for the New City. Zigun is known as the Permanently UnElected Mayor of Coney Island and Creator of the Mermaid Parade and Coney Island Museum.

UnElected Mayor of Coney Island and much produced playwright Dick D. Zigun has created a wildly, rousingly produced musical event about the horrifying yet fascinating history of assassinations of Republican United Stated presidents. It’s a big concept for a modern rock opera as the information about two of them is mostly forgotten due to the ever new revelations about the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Never forgotten of course is Abraham Lincoln, shot in Ford’s Theater by acclaimed actor John Wilkes Booth. But do you remember James A. Garfield and William McKinley? Until "Killin’ Republicans" I had completely forgotten about the latter two and their murderers.

I think I would have learned about them if I could understand the lyrics of the songs that the highly energetic and hard working cast put out there. Unfortunately there were technical obstacles with microphones, some feedback issues and I think the sound booth was having a hard time overcoming the live band.

The rock opera composed by Arturo Rodriguez was original and compelling. However there was an issue with the drum/percussion section amplification. So much so that the lyrics, already blurred by mic problems, were obscured. This clearly was a production problem that should have been resolved in rehearsals.

The one cast member whose microphone worked most of the time was Queen Koleurz Koluchi. She is a ravishing beauty and a delight to watch as she danced and sang with a heart dedicated to the show’s music.

Queen Kolurez Koluchi.

They say it’s easy to play a character who is your type. Edwin Vazquez makes it look easy but I could tell he knew his mic was missing its use. It’s a shame because I’m sure he can sing with the best of them.

Edwin Vazquez.

The simple beauty of Jodie Foster came across as played by Abby Gumpper. It’s too bad her mic and amplification were only 25% understandable. She brought the show together as an example of the class system in America. First class doesn’t mean there’s a first class passenger in the seat net to you.

Abby Gumpper as Josie Foster.

The setting is the first class section of a transatlantic flight heading to New York. Not sure who designed it as there’s no set designer mentioned in the program.

I can’t forget the two flight attendants who ushered us into the theater. Vivacious Ava Jones, also the show’s choreographer, and perky Gabriel Winkler kept the energy level on high throughout the frustrating performance.

Gabriel Winkler and Ava Jones.

I usually decline to write reviews of shows that have flaws, flaws that are usually with the script and direction. For Killin’ Republicans that’s not the case. With its high energy and interesting subject, I wanted it to be satisfying. It a show that has great potential.



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