Right on Target
nytheatre.com review by Cate Cammarata
August 15, 2012
It used to be said that one should never discuss sex, religion or politics. Right on Target, a new political play by Gary Morgenstein, manages to satirize each one in an uneven production at the New York International Fringe Festival.
Benjy Harrison (Robert McKay) is a conservative African American married to Karen (Noemi de la Puente), who is ultra-liberal Jewish. Their already shaky union is threatened when Benjy is fired by PBS, supposedly for his politics. Karen decides to investigate and brings her lawyer brother Kenny (Tom Lacey) reluctantly in to represent her husband. Benjy's case is aided by a beautiful young tech-savvy conservative blogger, Julie (Janet S. Kim), who tweets him into the public eye around the Beltway and ultimately leads him to run for political office himself. His liberal opponent turns out to be former PBS colleague Susan Nagel (Jane Dashow) who has already managed to make moves on Karen literally and figuratively by supporting her seashell jewelry business. An addition of a hummus deliveryman-turned-radio-producer (Simcha Borenstein) rounds out the diverse cast.
Jokes and sight gags are plentiful, and sometimes work. McKay is perfectly cast in his role as a conservative counterpoint to Obama, but under de la Puente's direction the production strains to make its point. Right on Target is a timely script that, at least in this production, doesn't quite manage to hit its mark.