WILMINGTON — With larger-than-life photos of a 20-something Hillary Clinton as a backdrop, the Oscar-winning director and best-selling author Michael Moore gave a one-man show Thursday at a packed Murphy Theatre where his election TV special was recorded over two nights.
The performance had some video spots that starred Clinton and Donald Trump, including show-starting footage on Trump titled “King of Kings.”
But the majority of the time, Moore was alone on the stage, with plenty of serious comments when he wasn’t poking fun.
A key reason for picking Clinton County as the place to record the special is the large number of Trump voters here in the GOP Primary, he said.
Many people who voted for Trump are “rightfully angry” and essentially want to send a loud message, said Moore. Later he suggested Trump voters stop and think how to best direct that anger, adding that many of them would regret a Trump presidency.
Moore mentioned the Trump rally held Sept. 1 in Clinton County at Roberts Centre. He expressed amazement that Trump could make a campaign speech in the county and not mention the 2008-09 loss of its main employer, DHL, and the resulting loss of 8,000 jobs at the air park.
In that connection, Moore said that while traveling around the Wilmington area, he started to count the number of dollar stores. On stage, he rattled off a list of their multiple names. He noted the series of dollar-this and dollar-that names didn’t draw much laughter, understandably so, he added.
Moore brought up the fact he had to relocate the show, originally planned for Newark’s Midland Theatre in Licking County, Ohio. He said theater officials there came under “an onslaught” by Republicans from throughout Ohio to cancel. He complimented Murphy Theatre for agreeing to serve as the venue of his show — a comment that led to loud applause from the audience while he clapped, too.
He said Murphy Theatre officials had also come under pressure the past week, including a threat from a state senator in Columbus that the theatre could have its arts funding withdrawn.
In addition to the focus on the upcoming presidential election, Moore did segments on millennials, the female of the species, and the differences between the personalities of liberals and conservatives. For instance, liberals are forever losing their car keys; conservatives have their keys organized on key hooks, he quipped.
There were a couple glitches relating to the technical side of the production, leading to short breaks in the show. Moore did not say when or on which network the show would air.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.