By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Political campaigning is a rough business. Ask Mitt Romney. Touch base with Barack Obama.
Or check out Charles Smith in “November” as he talks turkey.
The political comedy “November” is the latest production at New World Arts. Its performance run continues tonight through Sunday at the downtown Goshen theater venue.
According to the New World crew, Smith is blunt and lacking in political correctness. He’s also the president of the United States.
“And he loves money,” “November” director Mahaffa Thompson said in an interview with The Goshen News earlier this week. “He loves money a lot. ... He doesn’t want to leave the Oval Office because he’s gotten used to the cush lifestyle.”
However, Smith’s campaign manager has left him. Only his chief of staff is left in the administration to help him. As bad luck would have it, Smith is also out of money.
In “November,” Smith opts to take the presidential tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey a step further. Smith tells a representative of the poultry-producing industry that he intends to pardon every turkey — meaning no American can eat them — unless he’s paid $200 million. Complications arise.
“November,” the brainchild of playwright David Mamet, marks Thompson’s directing debut with New World.
“I enjoy laughing, and the script is just hilarious,” she said of “November.” “That’s why I decided to do it.”
In New World’s “November,” Thompson indicated, the idea was to not align Smith with either presidential camp. Still, the play is relevant.
“The script was originally written in 2008,” Thompson said, “but you’ll hear stuff and you’ll be like, ‘Oh, wow, that sounds exactly like Romney, that part sounds like Obama, that part sounds like Ryan.’”
Thompson hopes that, at the end of a presidential election cycle, audiences find in “November” an opportunity to laugh. If last weekend’s opening is a guide, they are.
“We had a small audience attendance, but there were lots of laughs,” Thompson said. “People enjoyed it, had lots of fun. I think it went well.”
The “November” cast includes Brian Kozlowski, Jessica DeGroff, Sara Lake-Rayburn, Adam Tice and Chad Cripe.
If you want to go
“November” will be performed today, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at New World Arts, 211 S. Main St., Goshen. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online at www.newworldarts.org or by calling 800-838-3006.