This week I review HBOâs "John Adams" miniseries (at least, the first four of the seven parts), starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney as John and Abigail Adams. "John Adams" presents a persuasive and appropriately edgy and perspective on the Revolutionary War period, like youâd expect from the channel that gave us "The Sopranos."
For a considerably lighter point of view of the American Revolution, Dadâs Garage Theatreâs improvised soap opera Scandal! presents what you could call a revisionist approach to the War for Independence. Running Feb. 29-May 16, the latest season of Scandal! takes place in "Little Five Ports." The following list of characters (which includes a 15th century conquistador and a 21st century high school student) gives you a sense of the the method to Scandalâs brand of madness:
Nigel Gwinnett (Tim Stoltenberg) : The dense British Governor of Little 5 Ports, Nigel is in America after losing his family's fortune in a game of "In my hand or yours?"
Sir Richard DeGranville (Z Gillispie) : Nigel's loyal (and some may argue more cunning) right-hand man. Sir Richard's favorite things to do? Collect Taxes and a good round of Cat's Cradle.
Arnadict Barnold (George Faughnan) : Under George Washington, he is the 2nd in command of the Continental Army. Although he will fight the British with all his strength, he believes it is a winless war.
Ridiculous Nickelby (Lucky Yates) : A lieutenant in the British Army, he was captured by the townspeople while on a scouting mission for his missing parakeet. He is now tethered to the Town Square, luckily with a rope long enough that allows him to go anywhere in town.
Princess Penelope (Amber Nash) : The fast talking daughter of King George III was sent to town on vacation (actually she was banished here). Ever since, she has slowly deteriorated into a similar sense of madness as her father.
Seth (Randy Havens) : In 2010, average high school student Seth went on a very ordinary time traveling class field trip back to 1778. His class left him behind. Now he spends his days bedazzling and boosting morale in an attempt to right history's wrongs.
Aunt Annie (Leslie Sharp) : The owner of the local Tavern/Inn, Annie makes sure everyone in town is happy. Need an ale? She's got one. Spot of tea? Coming right up. Closely guarded military secrets overheard one night at the bar...?
Hector Macho Gazpacho (Matt Horgan) : Hector left Spain in 1493 in search of the Fountain of Youth. He found it. Now he is in town, without a ship, and quickly running out of Fountain Juice.
You probably canât imagine a treatment of the Revolutionary War more crude, irreverent and potentially profane that Scandal! But you donât have to imagine one: It already exists! Brad Neely's low-fi, hip-hop cartoon tells you more about George Washington, the father of our country, than you ever wanted to know. It's hilarious and very NSFW:
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