Sarah Palin, you say you can see us from your vindow. Vell, ve can also see you from our vindow, and ve like vhat ve see.
So says Vlad, one of six memorable characters who weave together Peterson Toscano’s new play, I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window: Lessons Before The Second Coming. Those familiar with Toscano’s previous productions like Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo’ Halfway House will remember Vlad other characters and will be delighted by a few newcomers like Elizabeth Jeremiah who have all come out to share some life lessons with the Queen of FOX News.
Undoubtedly, Sarah Palin has become a huge fixture in American politics and culture, and who better to respond to this behemoth than the many faces of Peterson Toscano? But From My Window is not your run-of-the-mill SNL gotcha-comedy; Toscano will tell you early into the show (as he doesn’t read from his hand) that he expects more of himself and so should his audience. Rather, Toscano uses Ms. Palin as a platform for 21st Century American values, discussing lessons from the Old and New Testament, environmentalism, as well as issues around race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Don’t worry, you won’t feel like you’re in school. The characters’ entertaining “lessons” are seamlessly woven together with Toscano’s own personal stories for a two hour journey that will split your Cheechakos from your Sourdoughs. With moments both zany and solemn, From My Window paints a picture of American patriotism that simultaneously challenges and reinforces our roles and responsibilities as “allegiant” citizens. More importantly, the brilliantly fresh approach to time-old controversial topics will give audience members from all political and religious perspectives something new to think about as they leave the theatre.
Ultimately, this is a show about caretaking. Toscano certainly hopes Ms. Palin might learn a thing or two from his show, but he also suggests we might learn a thing or two from her—namely, how can we all be Mama Grizzlies for this great world of ours? As part of the production, Toscano invites audience members to help raise money for microloan foundation Kiva.org, with a fundraising twist that echoes the show’s themes of community care. Laughter is the driving force in the production, but From The Window also delivers an emotional depth that may surprise.
When asked who their favorite characters were, audience members will undoubtedly reply, “All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me.” And while Toscano’s complex characters provide a unique lens for thinking about Sarah Palin, it is ultimately through Ms. Palin that Toscano provides us with a lens for our own lives.
I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window premieres this Saturday at 8:00 PM at the Rainbow Players Theater Company in Allentown, PA.