Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, Michael Moore has voiced his opposition on nearly every available medium.
The documentarian and political agitator tweeted about it, appeared on numerous cable news shows to discuss it and even launched a “resistance calendar,” which allows users to post about “anti-Trump, pro-democracy” events in the United States.
Add Broadway to that list.
Moore announced Monday he will star in a new one-man Broadway show titled “The Terms of My Surrender,” which he called “a very refined piece of satire.” The show, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, will preview at the 1,018-seat Belasco Theatre on July 28 before opening Aug. 10 and running for 12 weeks.
Its tagline reads, “Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?”
“I operate under the hope that he won’t be president for very long,” Moore said at a news conference Monday at Sardi’s. “Why don’t we see if every night — and twice in the afternoon — for 12 weeks if a piece of theater can raise enough of a ruckus to discombobulate the man sitting in the Oval Office? I don’t know, but I’d like to find out. … Stranger things have happened in the last year.”
“I’m in a take-no-prisoners mode,” Moore added.
The details of the actual show are scant, as it seems to be partially scripted and partially improv. Each show will be different, with Moore and surprise guest stars commenting on the news of the day. Moore said the shows might spill out of the actual theater (which, perhaps not incidentally, is a short walk from Trump Tower).
“It’s not like anything I think you’ve really seen. I think there will be a subversive yet urgent tone and sense to this. People will be very surprised in a good way,” Moore said. He later told the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m not just gonna stand there for 90 minutes and say, ‘Donald Trump is horrible.’ ”
He said he’s considered such a show for years and would have created it “even if Hillary were president. The polar icecaps are still melting, we still don’t have universal health care, there’s still way too much talk about solving our problems through war. So this is not just about Trump; it’s landing in the time of Trump.”
The one-man show is a new weapon in Moore’s arsenal. Last year, he climbed on stage in Wilmington, Ohio, and discussed his support of Hillary Clinton, which he filmed and released as “Michael Moore in TrumpLand.” The quickly cut film caught Trump’s attention.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2016
Trump’s rise to political prominence has proven to be a boon for Moore’s career. As The Washington Post’s Derek Hawkins reported:
After rising to hero status among liberals during the administration of President George W. Bush, Moore seemed to fade from public view when President Obama entered the White House. He continued to champion liberal causes, but some of his targets became more provincial. In the meantime, personal problems cropped up. In 2011, he fought a year-long legal battle against his financial backers over profits from his blockbuster documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.” In 2014, his two-decade marriage ended in a messy divorce.
That changed with Trump’s candidacy. Moore was one of the few pundits to predict his election, and the political climate led him to release his first film in six years. Ever since, he’s become a mainstay on cable news channels like CNN — much like he was during Bush’s presidency.
Broadway remained one of the last forms of media Moore hadn’t engaged in, as he told the New York Times.
“It was either this or the Ice Capades,” he said. “I’ve made my movies. I’ve had two prime-time TV series. I’ve had eight books on your bestseller lists. I’ve done a lot of things with the Internet. But I haven’t done this.”
His hope for the show — as with most of his recent work — is simple: to see Trump leave office, one way or another. And he thinks it’s possible.
“Don’t you believe after this last year that literally anything can happen? That used to be a cliche, but we now know anything can happen,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “He could resign next week.”
“I have a good amount of humility in me, but if he does resign before or during the run of the show, count on it, I will take some of the credit,” Moore added. “I’m just saying it now.”