Political incorrectness unmasked

Published 4:15 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

When the Politically Incorrect Cabaret takes the stage at the University of Montevallo on March 27, director Diane McNaron said the audience should expect the unexpected.

“The P.I.C. Unmasked –– Carnival in Birmingham” will make its Montevallo debut at 8 p.m. at Reynolds Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Inspired by German cabaret, the Birmingham-based P.I.C. is in the business of satirizing political foibles. The cast draws from various musical genres to poke fun at local and national issues.

In “Unmasked,” blues singer Elnora Spencer performs “Leapin’ Larry,” a take on the gospel-spiritual “Weepin’ Mary” that humorously chronicles the administration of Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford.

“We try to pick one or two (local) subjects, and (Langford) is such a character, we had to do something about him,” McNaron said.

The show will also introduce a number about the death penalty in Alabama. Written especially for the University of the Montevallo, the number is likely to become one of the cabaret’s most controversial, McNaron said.

“We’re talking about Larry Langford, we’re talking about the death penalty, we’re talking about Obama coming in and Bush going out. We try to address things that are current,” McNaron said.

The cabaret’s purpose is “to make you laugh at the other side in the company of like-minded people,” according to its Web site.

McNaron defines like-minded people as those with a progressive or liberal point of view. However, that doesn’t mean conservatives should skip the show.

“We do something that’s pretty unusual in this area in the south,” McNaron said. “Republicans don’t come to our show that much, but we want them to.”

McNaron said “Unmasked” allows the audience to momentarily forget political allegiances, and take a look at the broader picture.

“We try to give people an opportunity to come together and celebrate what’s good to celebrate, laugh a little bit and cry a little bit about what’s bad,” McNaron said.

The audience may spot a few familiar faces in the cast. Montevallo alums Deborah Mauldin, Celeste LeBorde, Leah Luker and Jeff Hairrell all appear in the show. Mauldin, LeBorde and Luker are cast as The Girl Kabarett Dancers. Hairrell sings baritone.

McNaron said Montevallo alums have always figured prominently in the cabaret.

For more information, visit the cabaret’s Web site www.politicallyincorrectcabaret.com.