Sarah Palin: Rogue None
Going into a show about Sarah Palin, I had certain expectations. I wondered if it was likely to be an extension of the Palin bit on SNL, or if it would be excessively political, or if it would just be a long impression of one of the most impressionable political figures the United States has had in living memory.
Instead, Rogue None was an imagined extrapolation of Palin’s life, from the last time we saw her smiling on Fox News to now, an alternate timeline in which she has chosen to write and perform a solo show “off-off-off-off-off-off Broadway”. Palin is accompanied by her eerily calm inner critic, also played by Nicastro, who speaks without the signature “dontchaknow” accent we’ve all come to know. Nicastro uses this character to confront everything from 2008 to Palin’s endorsement of Trump, in a way that feels vulnerable and authentic. The audience is presented with a sympathetic character, but also reminded that she is complicit in her own oppression.
The show also features a horror-movie-esque media component, displaying clips of the real Sarah Palin in interviews, with highly distorted sound and coloring, certain moments repeating over and over. This was by no means a straight comedy show. There were uncomfortable moments when the audience clearly struggled with whether to laugh, and I think that was exactly the point. This was also not a period piece - we heard the fictional Palin’s views on very current events, from Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to John McCain’s death.
On a scale from 1 to Weird: 4
Who should see this show? Fans of the absurd, politically motivated comedy audiences, anyone who wants to see a fictional Sarah Palin twirl a baton and drink wine from the bottle.
Saturday, November 10th at 6:30pm
Saturday, Novemer 17th at 5pm
Under St. Marks Theater (94 St. Marks Place)