How lucky we are to be alive right now: Bernie Sanders gets the "Hamilton" treatment

"Feel the Bern: A Musical Of the People, By the People, and For the People" opened to a SRO crowd in Burlington

Published January 5, 2017 12:52PM (EST)

 (YouTube/FeelTheBern Musical)
(YouTube/FeelTheBern Musical)

You've already missed your chance to see the Democratic-Socialist version of "Hamilton."

"Feel the Bern: A musical of the people, by the people and for the people," a one-night-only musical about Bernie Sanders devised by Meira Marom, opened and closed on Dec. 18 to a standing-room-only crowd in a community performance hall in the North End of the Vermont senator's adopted hometown of Burlington.

Marom — a New York-based after-school program teacher — and her cast rehearsed in the Park Slope, Brooklyn, brownstone of retired teacher and activist Lew Friedman.

A journalist, Michael Appler, described the spectacle in The Village Voice:

Performed by a cast of eight, Marom's musical is Christmas themed. Bernie Sanders is Jewish, but that doesn't matter. 'Like Santa, Bernie is kind of the ultimate giver. No one gets left behind. No matter your means or background, you get a visit from him. Only his gifts are the exact opposite of Santa's consumerism-fest,' says Marom. Her spectacle is also postapocalyptic and takes place in the year 2132: Global warming has washed away the eastern coast of the United States, and the characters have gathered for their holiday on the new shore — in Cleveland.

Christmas is obsolete in 2132; instead the characters assemble to celebrate NotMeUs, a festival fixated on Sanders, who has returned to Earth in the form of Sanders Claus. Elders gather the children around to recount the legend of this winter celebration — the story of how our country fell into ruin after failing to heed Bernie's warnings, but after adopting his policies returned to prosperity — and to sing carols about the decline of corporate greed.

The production ended with a number called "We Blew It" that goes:

But what a crime

We thought we had more time

We chose to shut our eyes

We were in for a surprise

Local NBC affiliate, WPTZ, also covered the performance:

Correction: This piece initially said that Michael Appier was an audience member. He was at the show, but only as a journalist. 

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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