Take an Iraqi con man with a good story looking to defect. Add intelligence operatives, German and American, ready to hear it. Mix with former UN weapons inspector who finds it echoes what he's sure is true. A US administration ready to act on it. What do you get? The war that got us where we are today.
Who's Your Baghdaddy? Or How I Started the Iraq War--a brilliant political musical having to do with bizarre
events that led to the Gulf War--proposes that some of those responsible have formed a support group to deal with their guilt. With excellent performances, a fine, rap-inflected score, and lively choreography, the show's as hilarious as it is disturbing. Not surprising, given that director Marshall Pailet, who wrote the music and co-wrote the book (co-author A.D. Penedo wrote the lyrics), was the writer and director of the wonderful musical spoof Triassic Parq.
In this incarnation (at an intimate theater-in-the-oval at the Actors Temple Theater, 339 W. 47 St.), you have through this weekend to catch Who's Your Baghdaddy? I trust there'll be others before too much longer, but next time you might not experience actors bounding in and out of the seat next to yours.
Remaining performances are Saturday-Sunday, November 21-22, at 3:00 and 8:00 each day.
For information, see whoisyourbaghdaddy.com
Who's Your Baghdaddy? is based on an unproduced screenplay by J. T. Allen, which was inspired by reporter Bob Drogin's coverage of these events for the Los Angeles Times.
I'm now reading Drogin's book Curveball: Spies, Lies, and the Con Man Who Caused a War, which tells the story at length. It's riveting.