Off Bardway - Tea Party on the Pipeline

Paulie Brading

Last night 'Tea Party on the Pipeline' a staged reading of a political melodrama had a world primier and closing night celebration. Several Jackson County Democrats have acting and directing experience and the organization enjoys a close association with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. OSF actors donated a comedy night for the Jackson County Democrats a couple of years ago that was side-splittingly funny. And remember we are stand in grocery lines with the lead actor from OSF's Hamlet and think nothing of it.

An active Democrat who just happened to have managed a well known regional theatre wrote the play and cast the parts. State Representative Peter Buckley (former actor) and Rochelle Savitt (former actor turned audio book narrator) and Sara Jane Nelson ( current actor) were joined by amatuer actors (well known Jackson County Democrats).

The action takes place at a city council meeting in the mythical Jackson County town of Shiffty Hills, Oregon (thinly disguised Ashland) where the most outrageous citizens may seem very familiar. The plot swirls with an effort to stop the LNG Pipeline, allow public nudity in city limits, a recall petition to remove Mayor Tim Delays and a surprise visit from a Tea Party representative. The audience is seated and then told that the left side represents Democrats and the right side represents Republicans. The audience was encouraged to cheer, boo and hiss throughout the performance. It was literally a hoot!

The play begins when the mayor of Shifty Hills calls the Shifty Hills City Council to order. The play ends with Sarah Palin (Sarah Jane Nelson) entering from the rear of the theatre strutting up the center aisle with Palin hair ( a borrowed wig identical to the real Palin), glasses, red jacket, black skirt and high heels clicking. She wasn't Tina Fey but Sarah Jane Nelson was darned close! We couldn't count how many times she said FREEDOM!

Other hilarious moments: The actor who played Mr. Grabfaster, the project manager for the pipeline explained LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) in a funny bit that included the entire audience cheering for EMINENT DOMAIN. Several of the actors had lines about "the FERCING pipeline" and "it sounds like I could be FERCED and might not enjoy it."

Mr. Grabfaster explained there would be absolutely no enviromental impact from the LNG pipline expected even after tunneling under the Rogue River to link up with Klamath Fall because, "Every guppy is a child of God."

The play ended with "Drill baby, drill" and Sarah Palin declaring "I'm all for that LNG-THINGY coming to Oregon.

Peter Buckley's character gets the best revenge when he produces a secret petition and has evey Republican thrown off the city council!

What a great night! My only regret is that aspiring actor Steve Novick wasn't in the cast.

Full disclosure: Paulie Brading was cast as Ann Illiterate, the Shifty Hills school superintendent)

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    Sounds like it was a lot of fun. But on a serious note I wonder if the Tea Partiers are supporting Senator Alan Greyson's HR5353 "The War is Making us Poor" Act? This bill will make the president and the military fund the war with the $500 Billion they have already been given, and take the extra Billion and change EXTRA they are asking for and instead making the first $35,000 every american citizen earns be TAX FREE. and since 1/3 of the population makes below $35,000 they would be exempt from paying taxes altogether. This would be the largest tax cut we have ever had. I would think that is something the tea party would support and if they are really as big as they claim to be then this bill should be passed.

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      Since about 50% of the population paid no federal income tax last year I guess that this would actually be a thinly disguised tax hike on 15% of the population?

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