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The Rainbow Connection

August 9, 2017 5:00 am0 commentsViews: 29

Rainbowby Steve Desroches

For a comedian the Trump administration is the gift that keeps on giving. And the appointment of Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci as the White House Communications Director after the unceremonious departure of Sean “Spicey” Spicer was really like Christmas in July. Randy Rainbow was on it. Rainbow (and that’s his real name) garnered thousands of followers for his ingenious and spectacularly produced parody videos since he began seven years ago, but ever since the poorly attended Inauguration of Trump, he’s shot to super stardom with millions watching such hilarious jabs at the dumpster fire of a president like The Russian Connection, Alternative Facts, Covfefe: The Broadway Medley, and Putin and the Ritz.

So when Scaramucci came along, well, Rainbow smiled from ear to ear and began to work on ideas. But just as he was putting the finishing touches on the video, news broke that after only 10 days Scaramucci was fired as Trump’s third communications director (fourth if you count Jason Miller who quit before actually taking office) in just six months. Since the White House has turned into the Big Top, Rainbow is working around the clock, and in this case he turned around The Sycophant Italiano in record time, posting the video within hours of the Mooch’s humiliation extravaganza.

“Well, I haven’t slept since January,” says Rainbow. “You have to get things out so quickly with this social media culture and this f**king administration because by tomorrow at noon everything is completely different.”

For those mired in surreal anxiety and anger over Trump and the Republicans, Randy Rainbow has been a savior with his incredible wit and a work ethic that often has him beating news outlets even in this time of constant breaking news. Riding the crest of the wave of his success, Rainbow is embarking on a New England summer tour of live shows that takes him to Provincetown for three shows at the Harbor Hotel at the start of Carnival Week. While he’s visited Provincetown several times before, this marks his Cape tip debut in what he describes as a greatest hits revue as he’ll sing some of his best known parodies.

As he speaks he is somewhere between New York and Massachusetts  heading to opening night of the tour at the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston for two sold-out shows, followed by dates in Ogunquit, Maine, and Montpelier, Vermont, before landing in Provincetown, and then a closing night at the Columbus Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. While he’s no stranger to the stage, he’s thrilled to be on the road performing for a live audience, as the past six months he’s been in his studio apartment in Astoria, Queens, making video after video with his cat Mushi as honorary production assistant. As his popularity has increased so, too did the demand for more videos. And wanting to catch the humor in the moment, he doesn’t have much time. Normally it takes two hours  to write, two hours to design, two hours to film, and then another 7 to 10 hours of editing, says Rainbow.  Like a lot of people Rainbow is losing sleep over Trump, but for a very different reason.

“It’s totally changed my life,” says Rainbow. “It’s terrible for our country, but it’s been great for my career.”

He might be running on adrenaline, but he couldn’t be happier as he’s been able to quit his day job and be a gay man writing Broadway-style parodies about people he loathes, making people he loves laugh full time. And in addition to touring dates, offers keep rolling in, so quickly he’s pausing to review them to find just the right fit as he plans to take his work to larger stages in more elaborate shows. But just take a peek at the Orbitz “It’s a Great Big World” commercial he stars in alongside Miss Richfield 1981, Bianca Del Rio, and Margaret Cho, and you’ll get a sense of the musical theater roots that run deep in him.

It’s not all been rosy for Rainbow. He frequently hears from Trump trolls posting nasty things about him, but he says usually they lack any kind of argument, or basic literacy, so they’re more funny than anything else. And he’s attracted some Republicans that appreciate a good laugh, even if it’s at the expense of the downward spiral of their party. What’s amazed him even more is the personal messages he’s received from folks thanking him for keeping them sane in all of this madness. But he’s really floored by the personal messages he’s received from celebrities like Dick Van Dyke, Stephen Sondheim, and the cast of Will and Grace complimenting him on his work and congratulating him on his success. He also has Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent for CNN, has a devoted fan.

“There is not one of my childhood heroes that I haven’t heard from,” says Rainbow. “I hear from Jake Tapper at CNN all the time. I love him. Seriously. He doesn’t know I love him, but I do.  I hear from him most every time I post a video. I think they really need a laugh over there at CNN right about now!”

Randy Rainbow Live is at the Harbor Hotel, 698 Commercial St., Provincetown, Friday, August 11 at 9 p.m. and Saturday, August 12 at 9 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets ($40 general/$55VIP with meet and greet) are available on brownpapertickets.com (there will be no ticket sales at the door). For more information call 857.333.4199.