Monday, January 5, 2009

"George Bush is only for now" is only for now

The Broadway smash Avenue Q is a funny, outrageous romp through the issues of post-college adulthood: scoring an apartment, landing a job, sorting out the sex thing, missing campus life, enjoying the big city and finding a purpose.

The show ends on a bittersweet note with the song "For Now," a meditation on the transitory nature of life. Enumerating things that are "only for now" (health, employment, discomfort, love, your hair), it reminds us that everything is ephemeral. The most memorable of these lyrics is "George Bush is only for now."

I first saw the show shortly after it opened on Broadway in summer 2003, by which time Bush had squandered massive post-9/11 goodwill and a historic statesmanship opportunity by manipulating intelligence to foment a cynical, unnecessary war. The Bush lyric was hugely cathartic and got the biggest ovation of the night.

Sadly for the country, it remains impactful all these years later and is now among the most beloved lines in the libretto.

At long last the Q crew has a little tweaking to do because the Bush gag will soon be obsolete. Although the show's losing a good joke, I think everyone at the Golden Theater shares my contentment that the worst president in history is about to exit stage left.

But what will replace "George Bush" in the closing number? That's where you come in. Avenue Q is holding a contest to find a replacement line. If yours is chosen, you'll win a bunch of prizes, including a revised script that includes your lyric. You can enter here.

Act fast, though, because the contest ends January 12. It's only for now.

No comments: