A Review In NY Theatre Guide:
I first had the honor of meeting Jeff Kreisler several years ago when he arrived in New York after a tenure in San Francisco. Originally from Massachusetts, Jeff was a law student who eventually chose the life of a comedian when he could have easily taken a 125,000 dollar a year job working as a lawyer. Since then, Jeff has written a book called, Get Rich Cheating: The Crooked Path To Easy Street and is Editor and Producer for The Final Edition a satirical website and radio show Jeff runs with comedic icon, Tony Hendra. Jeff hosts Political Tale with Harmon Leon, an Infiltrator, (an infiltrator is someone who infiltrates groups to get a story.) Harmon has written several books on the subject and worked for such publications as Vanity Fair, Esquire, The Nation and Penthouse to name a few. Political Tale is the brain child of both Jeff and Harmon and is meant to bring together politically minded people who have engaging stories that have a political angle.
This show is truly for anyone that has any political interest on any level.
A touring piece, Political Tale, was performed at Fawkner at 191 Smith Street in Park Slope. The room was perfect for an event of this kind. The leather clad couches and dark wooded walls gives you the feeling you’re about to hear of revolution. Nothing makes one wax about revolution quite like leather and rich mahogany. Jeff and Harmon hosted several funny storytellers including Joey Novick, who jumped up first and weaved a story about how he randomly began his 15 year tenure as the only Democrat on his townships council after a series of setbacks. Host, Jeff Kreisler, spoke, telling a story about heart troubles, his son and healthcare at large, which offered vulnerability one doesn’t often get from political comedians. Two parody songs were performed by Took Edalow, one which uses the popular Lords tune Royals to poke fun at Hillary Clinton. Took’s essence and sincerity was a breath of fresh air in the world of comedy. Frank Conniff spoke about the rich political history in his family and how he gained nothing from his ancestors success and about his grandfather who was an inventor and held many patents. Harmon Leon also spoke and told a story about infiltrating a hate group in an effort to find out what makes them tick. He found that the answer was, “hate.” We also heard from Jenice Mathias, who was one of the youngest people ever on the FBI’s watch list for inciting a high school walk out in the early 1970’s in New York. Jenice’s husband, Jimmy Matias, was also in attendance and spoke. Jimmy was part of the Oscar winning team behind, Scared Straight, the popular 1978 prison documentary. His presence added a certain amount of class to the evening. As anyone can see, the line up was an impressive amalgamation of many viewpoints and varying ideals.
We are living in a time of constant political upheaval. From our own political process and elections, to terrorist acts and many other incidents. On a daily basis America always seems to be in a fight with someone or something. That high tension sometimes leads people to not say anything at all. Political Tale gives storytellers the opportunity to say or tell a story they may not otherwise tell on stage. Political Tale is adding a little brevity to a very intense part of our culture in the United States. Though I can’t promise this for the next show on April 30th at Union Hall in Brooklyn, but it was a truly beautiful to go to a political piece and not hear about Donald Trump. This show is truly for anyone that has any political interest on any level. The best thing about Political Tale is you really don’t know what you’re going to hear. Each story told, hit home for the audience in one way or another.