President Obama Inspires London Musical
In the latest sign that Obama-mania continues to grow, a musical based on the new US president will make its debut next week in London.
'Obama on My Mind' adds its name to a long list of Obama-mania testimonies around the world, beginning with T-shirts and memorabilia and spreading to things like Obama pizzas in Germany and Uganda.
York-born crime writer and film producer Teddy Hayes created 'Obama on My Mind' in just three weeks, before Obama was even elected.
A "humorous look at the weird and wonderful world behind the scenes of a small Obama campaign office," as the poster advertises, his play will run for three weeks at a small theater in north London.
The musical comedy which includes musical styles like pop, gospel, jazz and soft rock, with its theme song called 'Obama and Me' focuses on 11 loyal, obsessive and downright peculiar campaigners striving to get their man in the White House.
"Right after Super Tuesday I decided that Obama was by far the best candidate for the presidency and even though he was a long shot for becoming the nominee, let alone president, I was going to support him," Hayes said.
"During the process I ran across some very interesting and amusing characters that somehow tickled my funny bone," Hayes said.
The play takes place one week after the 2008 Republican Convention when McCain's vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was in the media headlines causing Obama to lose his lead and drop 20 points in the polls.
While not offensive but "poking a few digs at the McCain campaign", the play is full of amusing characters ranging from 'Mad Mary' (played by Jackie Skarvellis), a campaigner who is obsessively in love with Obama, to an uptight campaign manager and incredibly stressed campaign fund manager.
There is no actual actor playing the president, but Obama's presence is felt 'in the wings' and on stage in actors wielding Obama masks.
"It's not heavily political. It's more of a romp really," Skarvellis told CNBC.com.
Hayes supported Obama by writing the lyrics of and making a music video featuring Donetter called 'I'm Voting for Obama' which is currently on Youtube, as well as volunteering at a Obama campaign office in London.
The US President's work is not much more different than that of a theater producer, but with much higher responsibilities, according to Hayes.
"He's the ultimate producer of the US," Hayes told CNBC.com when describing Obama's duty to help get the economy back on the right track. "You get the right guy to do this, the right guy to do that. The same as I have to do on this project."
It appears that everyone wants to sing their praises about Obama from the rooftops, as another children-focused musical entitled 'Dear President Obama' starts this Saturday at The Chicago Center.
This play surrounds itself by the overflow of letters that are mailed to the 44th President from his youngest fan base.
Fringe theatre is still flourishing despite the recession or maybe because of it, with its productions taking place in local areas at reasonable prices.
A ticket to 'Obama on My Mind' costs 12 pounds ($17), compared with prices of between 30 and 60 pounds at theaters in London's famous West End.