Stephen Colbert is doing it. Why not Jordan Roth?
Just as Colbert and Chris Licht unleashed Our Cartoon President on Showtime, Broadway theater owner and producer (and regular Deadline pundit) Roth is producing and starring in his own animated web series, The Birds and the BS – animated being the operative word.
Watch it here.
The first episode, which went online today, is a brash and scathing “lesson” about President Donald J. Trump. Styled like a Saturday morning kiddie show from the past, The Birds and the BS (which is not meant to be pronounced “bees”) finds Roth, his dark locks up-done in a modified French twist and his frame draped in a Trump-orange sweater, “teaching” a character voiced by Tony-winning Kinky Boots star Billy Porter that, rather than dwelling on the size of Trump’s hands or the breadth of his waste, it would be better to apply similar criticisms to his policies, his vulgarities and his penchant for untruth-telling.
All this is done in language Mr. Rogers would find distasteful.
As the video made the rounds Thursday, it was impossible to ignore the rather intricate web of connections surrounding it. Roth is the owner and chairman of Jujamcyn Theatres, whose portfolio includes five Broadway houses. One, the Al Hirschfeld, is where Kinky Boots has been running since 2013. The musical is produced by Daryl Roth, who is Jordan’s Mom and fellow-traveler in the Democratic fold. They have been leaders in organizing Broadway’s fervent support of Barack Obama and then Hillary Clinton.
Jordan Roth also has been active in putting Jujamcyn money and real-estate behind such unabashedly left-leaning shows as Falsettos and the coming National Theatre revival of Angels In America starring Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield.
Darryl’s husband and Jordan’s Dad, Steven Roth, on the right hand, is a real-estate mogul and has been part of Trump’s social circle and brain trust. The Roths insist that disparate politics and familial love happily co-exist in their various households, no matter how hard reporters try to ferret out a more sordid truth.
As a regular contributor to Deadline’s Roth & Gerard column debating issues in the Broadway community, Jordan has been exquisitely savvy in articulating both lines of his genetic strain: He’s unabashedly a defender of the business side of Broadway, as any landlord will be, while helping to drag his older colleagues into a more socially active world that includes digital media such as Periscope.
And, now, potty-mouthed ‘toons.