The Teapot Scandals | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Teapot Scandals

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The centerpiece of Jon Steinhagen's sparkling new musical is a dim-bulb Republican president from Ohio with a penchant for cronyism and corruption--we're talking Warren G. Harding, of course. Steinhagen's take on the 29th president is surprisingly compassionate, though his sly satirical revue, receiving its world premiere from Porchlight Music Theatre, shouldn't be taken as historical gospel; the premise is that, months after Harding's death, members of his coterie put on a show about his scandal-plagued administration. Steve Scott directs with a sprightly hand, and Steinhagen's score is a solid blend of jazzy and more somber numbers. Michael Rosenblum is a suitably oily emcee--former attorney general Harry Daugherty--and Elizabeth Haley finds the pathos in rock-ribbed first lady Florence Kling Harding. --Kerry Reid a Through 3/10: Thu 8 PM, Sat 5 PM, Sun 6 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $15-$20.

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