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"Spitzer! The Musical": A Scandal That Toppled A Governor, In Verse

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Everything's Comin' Up Spitzer! It's week two of SpitzerGate, or Kristen-Gate, or Ashley-Youmans-Gate, or Ashley-Alexandra-Dupré- Gate, and more important things have taken over — including the newly-sworn governor of New York, David Paterson, who made headlines yesterday first for his swearing-in standup-routine and then for his admission of his extramarital affair — plus Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright and the issue of race in the campaign, AND the divorce settlement of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Oh and also there was that whole implosion of Bear Stearns thing. Even so, SpitzerGate is still very much present in the news cycle via the weekly magazines (cf. Newsweek, New York, Diane Sawyer's newly-relevant prostitution special).

There is also, of course, the art inspired by such an event — which brings us to "Spitzer: The Musical" by current-events musical theater maestro Ben Greenman, who has fashioned himself into the premier source of witty, intelligent spoof musicals based on breaking (and usually tawdry) current events. Originally published on McSweeney's ("If I Did It!" The Musical; "McNamee! The Musical" re: Roger Clemons) and then briefly moved to Gawker ("Larry! The Musical" re: Larry Craig; "Death Comes For Britney Spears! The Musical" which has actually been recently adapted into a short film) and Greenman's oeurvre is now back at McSweeney's, and "Spitzer!" is the latest. It's also the weirdest, by my estimation (some liberties with the dramatis personae and all that) but typically clever ("My name is "Kristen"--it's in quotes/Does someone want to sow his oats?"). It's a bit on the prurient side (though it's no W.H. Auden) so consider yourself warned, but in the meantime found this to be rather insightful:

A man who has great power
Is a funny, fragile thing.
He dreads the creep of time
And that which it may bring.
But all that has to happen
To set him right once more

Is to pay $4,000
For a visit from a whore.
Does that make him foolish?
Perhaps, but don't you see
That great power is accompanied
By great banality?
Now I must get back to work.
I am a great reformer.
It's easier to do it
If the bed is warmer.

Also, he rhymes "steamroller" with "comptroller" in a rather pat bit of Albany-inspired verse. We can't wait to see what he does on Paterson.

Spitzer! The Musical [McSweeney's]

Media Matinee: Ben Greenman's Musicals