Trump Derangement Syndrome continues to spin out of control within certain segments of society, and offenders seem unable to recognize when a line has been crossed.
The Public Theater’s rendition of Julius Caesar in New York City is a prime example of the phenomenon.
— Playbill (@playbill) May 30, 2017
This version of Shakespeare’s tragedy features a Caesar who bears a striking resemblance to President Donald Trump, complete with his trademark orange hair, business suit, and long red (or blue) necktie. True to the original play, the rash populist Caesar ends up being assassinated on the Senate floor by a group of conspirators — including his friends Cassius and Brutus — saving the Republic from his dangerous reign.
They didn’t even attempt to be subtle with the imagery, according to one woman who was able to see a sneak preview of the performance. During the murder scene when the Trumpian Ceasar is stabbed to death, “an American flag hovers overhead,” according to the woman, while “blood was spewing everywhere out of his body.” She told Joe Piscopo on AM 970 THE ANSWER that the audience seemed disturbingly accepting of the heinous scene.
The Public Theater kicked off its annual free Shakespeare in the Park summer programming with Julius Caesar on May 23, but the play doesn’t officially open until June 12.
The choice of Julius Caesar for the annual program is one dripping with subtext, chosen deliberately for the supposed parallels between the Roman dictator and Trump. A description of the play on The Public Theater’s website states that “Shakespeare’s political masterpiece has never felt more contemporary.”
It describes the Roman leader as “Magnetic, populist, irreverent,” and “bent on absolute power.” The description also notes that a “small band of patriots, devoted to the country’s democratic traditions, must decide how to oppose him.”
Laura Sheaffer, a sales manager at Salem Media who saw the sneak preview, described the ghastly performance in an interview with Mediaite.
“The actor playing Caesar was dressed in a business suit, with a royal blue tie, hanging a couple inches below the belt line, with reddish-blonde hair — just like Trump,” Sheaffer said.
“I always go to Shakespeare in the park, but I wasn’t expecting to see this,” Sheaffer said, adding that the script was mostly loyal to the original Shakespeare, and that there was no explicit reference to the American president, though the intention was “blatantly obvious.”
In the scene before Caesar is assassinated, his wife Calpurnia begs him to stay away from the Senate, claiming she is having nightmares of his murder. According to Sheaffer, the actress playing Calpurnia bore a resemblance to first lady Melania Trump — replete with a “Slavic accent.”
Sheaffer also noted that in the scene, the actor playing Trump Caesar steps out of a bathtub stark naked, which she said struck her as disrespectful, and a “mockery of the office of the President.”
In the next scene the Trumpian Caesar is attacked by the Senators and stabbed to death as an American flag hovers overhead, according to Sheaffer. “They had the full murder scene onstage, and blood was spewing everywhere out of his body.”
“To be honest I thought it was shocking and distasteful,” Sheaffer continued. “If this had happened to any other president — even as recently as Barack Obama or George W. Bush — it would not have flown. People would have been horrified.”
“I mean it was the on-stage murder of the president of the United States,” she said.
Sheaffer pointed out that the play ends with Marc Anthony celebrating Brutus for his bravery, saving the Romans from Caesar’s rule. “The message it sent was that if you don’t support the president, it’s ok to assassinate him.”
“I don’t love President Trump, but he’s the president. You can’t assassinate him on a stage,” Sheaffer said.
Yet they did, and will apparently continue to do so if there is not a massive outcry. Sheaffer described the crowd’s reaction to the murder scene to Piscopo. “I think they just accepted it,” she said. “I just kept thinking….this is okay? This is not funny. It’s too far.”
The Public Theater’s on-stage murder of the Trump-like Caesar is just the latest manifestation of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Last week, alleged comedian Kathy Griffin posted grisly pictures from her photoshoot with a model of Donald Trump’s bloody, severed head online. It took nearly 24 hours of public outcry for CNN to cut ties with Griffin.
“Kathy Griffin got so much coverage for what she did, everyone was horrified, so why is no one horrified by this, which is essentially the murder of the President of the United States in front of 2,000 people?” Sheaffer wondered.
It took until 2006 — five plus years into his presidency — for libs to allow their sick assassination fantasies about President George W. Bush to be played out on the big screen. They’re getting a good start with this sick version of Julius Caesar in New York City only five months into Donald Trump’s presidency.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big-budget feature film depicting Trump’s assassination by next summer.