By Michael Quinn
Republican President William Mc Kinley was a puppet president for the three men who at the time literally owned the U.S. economy. Those men were Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan. The Big Three who at the turn of the last century monopolized the U.S. economy to the total dismay of the struggling working class. The person they feared the most was a young New York Governor named Theodore Roosevelt who promised to break their uncontested grasp on the U.S. economy. So when Vice President Garret Hobert died while serving the Big Three decided to endorse Mr. Roosevelt as his replacement figuring he had limited power as VP as opposed to other positions in government. The plan literally backfired.
On September 6, 1901, President Mc Kinley was visting the Pan- American Exposition in Buffalo. Earlier in the day McKinley enjoyed a state of the art simulated space ride that was rocking the expostion called “A Trip to the Moon.” It’s creators Frederic Thompson and Skip Dundy moved the ride to Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park in 1902. As luck would have it the indoor atttaction saved Steeplechase Park’s almost certain demise as it rained over 70 days that summer at Coney Island. Paul Boyton’s aquarium like water park didn’t fare as well and went bankrupt. A Trip to the Moon became the centerpiece of Luna Park replacing Boyton’s Sea Lion Park, also known as North America’s first Amusment Park.
Shortly after Mc Kinley enjoyed a Trip to the Moon at the Buffalo Exposition he was gunned down by a disgruntled steel worker named Leon Czolgosz in the nearby Temple of Music. McKinley died a few days later. Theodore Roosevelt became President and using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act as a weapon he went after the Big Three, breaking up their monopoly on the U.S. economy.
Over history three times as many Republican Presidents have been murdered as Democrats (all were shot on a Friday). Often the underlying grievance is a result of perceived inequality as was the case with McKinley’s assassin. True or not true, this interesting premise is explored in a new play by Coney Island U.S.A.’s Artistic Director Dick Zigun in his new rock opera named “Killing Republicans.”
Over the decades Coney Island U.S.A. has been churning out avant-garde theater at it’s finest and most twisted. From the title it seems like this one won’t disappoint.
According to the Daily News:
“Told in a mix of punk rock and thrash metal music composed by Cristian Amigo, the show takes place in the first class cabin of a transatlantic flight. Three passengers including actress Jodie Foster, a Nigerian pop singer and a rockabilly oil foreman from Biloxi “have drinks, talk politics and sing about the history of assassination attempts on Republicans.”
Killing Republicans begins previews April 22 at the Shooting Gallery Arts Annex ,1214 Surf Ave, next to the Freak Bar and Sideshows at the Seashore.
See you there!
For complete schedule: