Eighty-six years ago today, on December 26th,1931 the most biting political satire ever written opened at the Music Box Theater on Broadway. Called Of Thee I Sing was the first successful American musical with a consistently satiric tone. Still relevant eighty-six years after it debuted, the play lampoons identity politics lampoons a political system too tied up in personalities and silly little issues to fix the country’s economy, and how a completely, gullible American people can be controlled at the hands of a good presidential media spin (sound familiar?).
Despite the fact that Of Thee I Sing first appeared on Broadway over eight decades ago, it speaks to politics today and is long overdue for a Broadway revival.
Written at the beginning of the Great Depression, Of Thee I Sing was so satirical, the writers and cast of the play and were unsure of what the public’s reception would be, prompting