Will the Real Blago Please Stand Up?
By Anthonia Akitunde in News on Jun 14, 2009 7:00PM
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich opened "Rod Blagojevich Superstar," a comedy show satirizing the rise and fall of the impeached and indicted governor's career, Saturday evening at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. A parody of rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar," the hour long production was supposed to end June 14, but was extended to Aug. 9 because of its popularity. A producer said he contacted Blagojevich last week and asked if he would make an appearance to promote the extended run, according to the United Press International. The ousted governor followed through on his promise and was met with wild cheers from the audience when he appeared on stage.
Dressed in a suit and tie, he stood on top of a chair with his arms outstretched as if he were on a cross. "Where were you when I was impeached?" he asked, according to the Tribune's recount of the event.
Blagojevich assured the audience that while he had not seen the performance, it was a "fictious account" of his life. He denies any wrongdoing in charges alleging he attempted to sell President Barack Obama's old Senate seat and used his position to secure campaign donations.
According to the Tribune, after encouraging the audience to "vote early and often" for his wife Patti on the NBC reality program "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!", the show began with a rollicking song that asked, "What kind of idiot sells a Senate seat?" After the performance Blagojevich shared stories of his time as governor -- including how he called the Cubs with pitching advice -- which the cast used as fodder for improvised skits. Though Blagojevich's spokesman will not divulge how much the former governor earned for his appearance, he did say Blagojevich will make a donation to Gilda's Club, a cancer support organization founded by Second City and Saturday Night Live alum Gilda Radner. [Trib]