Sarah Palin is such a fixture on the political and cultural landscape today that you have to remind yourself it was just two years ago that the former Alaska governor was introduced to the greater American public. In Picking Palin, an engaging one-act at the Connelly Theatre, author Stephen Padilla imagines the scenario in which Palin emerged as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate over the likes of Mitt Romney, Tom Ridge, Tim Pawlenty, and Joe Lieberman.
In a series of vignettes full of often bitter, often amusingly cynical cracks, we watch as Neil (Stephen Gleason) -- the aide to presidential candidate John McCain -- attempts to reach unanimity with racially biased Bob (Bill Timoney), no-nonsense Jan (Georgette Reilly Timoney), and analytically incisive Paul (Keith Herron).
The outcome is never in doubt, of course, and Padilla drops no bombshells during the give-and-take that has passionate Palin-detractors Paul and Jan holding out against Neil and Bob until they realize they must capitulate.
Nevertheless, Padilla -- who also directed his able cast with an abler hand than many playwrights apply to their handiwork -- achieves a convincing you-are-there quality. He also fires several effective zingers as well as many declarative remarks that get onlookers laughing knowingly. Perhaps the most memorable is die-hard GOP-er Neil commenting -- as did McCain -- that the economy is not a worry. Oops!
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