By Patrick B. McGuigan
Something always happens in Oklahoma?
You bet, and 2012 was no exception. Local news reporters and their unindicted co-conspirators will translate the highs and lows (mostly the latter) of the year that was in the annual Gridiron Show.
The title of the production, slated for Lyric at the Plaza Feb. 27, March 1 and March 2, is “More Obama Drama, or: Oklahoma is well red.” The script is a collaborative project, credited to “The Usual Suspects.”
President Obama gets special attention in the annual parody of all things political, with Bart Vleugels returning as the chief executive of the nation. Your humble servant, associate publisher of this newspaper, will again be in cameo as America’s most subtle politician (not), Vice President Joe Biden. Andrew Harris is both Clint Eastwood and the Weather Guy. … You’ll have to buy a ticket, to get it.
Many familiar faces are back for another run. Radio show host “the Eggman” reprises as a kind of narrator for the proceedings, in this case portraying the teacher of a group of students with, shall we say, limited knowledge of national and state politics.
Retired journalists John Greiner, Jon Denton, Darrell Morrow, Ellie Sutter, Jim Palmer and Joe Mays lend dignity to the proceedings, while young cubs like Jacklyn Cosgrove will join in the fun.
Toney Antonelli, Robert Burch, Bob Hale, Robert Lange, Terry Runels, Erin Boeckman, Carol Cole-Frowe, Sue Hale, Judy Murphy, Sue Perry, Cindy Reich and Jackie Short lend their support for the frivolity.
Doing their best to correct grammar and understanding of issues are educators Dana Meister and Barry Jon (this year’s club president), but there’s only so much that can be done when dealing with reporters who know just enough to be dangerous.
Attempting to bring order to the proceedings is Billie Rodely, a member of the state Journalism Hall of Fame and moderator of the weekly “Capitol Watch” podcast. She will wear multiple hats as Hillary Clinton and a few others, onstage, and as director, off-stage.
The assembled pundits, prognosticators and pure reporters will pend their time poking fun at deserving “targets” at both the federal and state/local level, including presidential hopefuls Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and of course Ron Paul, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Governor Mary Fallin, Thunders titan Clay Bennett, football coaches Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops, Insurance Commissioner John Doak, state Sen. Harry Coates, the little general Rita Aragon and Sam Presti.
All proceeds from the annual Oklahoma City Gridiron Show support scholarships for college students studying journalism. The Oklahoma City Gridiron Club runs the show, and the Gridiron Foundation gets the cash after the bills are paid. The club, in existence since 1928, has raised and dispersed several hundred thousand dollars over the past several decades.
Advanced tickets are available only from Ticketstorm, at this link: http://www.ticketstorm.com/search.php?search=okc+gridiron&login2=GO
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. (with doors open at 7 p.m.) the evenings of Wednesday, February 27, Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2.