his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical and his general behavior vain, ridiculous,
as I may recall it.
-Love’s Labour’s Lost
FERDINAND, King of Navarre (Barack Obama, King of America, Inc.)
PRINCESS of France (Carla Bruni, Princess of France)
BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, DUMAINE, Lords, attending on the King (David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, and Larry Summers)
BOYET, MARCADE, Lords, attending on the Princess of France (Nicholas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown)
ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, Ladies, attending on the Princess (Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel, and Oprah)
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantastical Spaniard (Hugo Chavez)
SIR NATHANIEL, a Curate ( Bill Ayers, Rick Warren as understudy)
HOLOFERNES, a Schoolmaster (Arne Duncan)
DULL, a Constable (Leon Panetta)
COSTARD, a Clown (Timothy Geithner)
MOTH, Page to Armado (Dr. Phil)
A Forester (Tom Vilsack)
JAQUENETTA, a country Wench (Hillary Clinton)
Officers and Others, Attendants on the King and Princess (Extras played by secondary school students of Sidwell Friends and Bo, the dog)
Love's Labour's Lost: The First One Hundred Days
(Facsimile of the first page of Love's Labour's Lost from the First Folio, published in 1623)
The play opens with the King of America, Inc., Barack Obama, and three noble companions, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, and Larry Summers taking an oath to devote themselves to four years of skullduggery and looting of the U.S. middle class by promising not to give in to the company of subversive new media journalists who may know where a few bodies are buried — Summers somewhat more robustly than the others.
Summers reminds the King that the princess and her three ladies are coming to the kingdom to tell Michelle all about the King’s steamy, lust in his heartish mind tryst with the princess while Sarkozy briefly excused himself to the Study where he checked out the value of the guitar Michelle gifted the princess with on eBay during their visit with the Queen of England. Meanwhile, it was suicidal for the King to agree to this inherent threat.
The King hotly denies what Summers says, insisting that the ladies make their camp in the vegetable garden which has now replaced the green, grassy knoll outside of his court, putting him at odds with the CEO of Monsanto, Big AG, not to mention Sarkozy. The King and his men comically fall in love with the princess and her ladies and once Michelle learns of this, all hell breaks loose about the Palace. The King is banished to the Lincoln bedroom which he is soon forced to share on alternate weekends with his mother in-law, Mrs. Robinson.
The main story is assisted by many other humorous sub-plots, one where the Treasury Department recalls all currency. A rather heavy-accented Spanish swordsman, Hugo Chavez, tries and fails to woo a country wench, Hillary Clinton, helped by Dr.Phil, his page, and rivaled by Timothy Geithner, a country idiot.
We are also introduced to two scholars, Bill Ayers and Arne Duncan, and we see them converse with each other in schoolboy Latin, each fitfully trying to outdo the other with poorly executed Desi Arnaz and Ricardo Montablan impersonations. In the final act, the comic characters perform a play to entertain the nobles, an idea conceived by Arne Duncan, where they represent the Nine Worthies. The four Lords — as well as the Ladies' manservant Kal Penn— mock the play, and Chavez and Geithner almost come to blows.
At the end of this 'play' in the play, there is a bitter twist in the story. News arrives that the Princess's father, the tire magnate heir, has died penniless after rowdy peasants burned all the tires left in France and she must return to take the throne. The King and his nobles swear to remain faithful to their ladies, but the ladies, unconvinced by The Gay Swami that their love is strong for the opposite sex, claim that the men must wait a whole year and a day to prove what they say is true.
This is an unusual ending for Shakespeare and Elizabethan comedy.
Happy William Shakespeare Day!