The Interview: Sarah Naughton & Jake Weinstein
Conducted by Michael Raver
Feinstein’s/54 Below is about to get political all over again. Jake Weinstein and Sarah Naughton are both champing at the bit to bring an updated iteration of their poignant cabaret show, Javanka! to the Broadway supper club. Nearly a year after the debut of the first rendition of the piece, they will once again take to the stage, portraying Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Eager to spread the word for the 2020 election, and against the backdrop of the impeachment proceedings, secrets are revealed and hilarity ensues. Featuring cheeky renditions of everything from Sondheim to Adele, the duo will also welcome special guest Maddy Apple (Hello Dolly!).
What motivated you to bring the show back to 54 Below?
Sarah Naughton: People kept asking us about it. They were curious about how we would deal with each of the latest scandals and keep the show current. Once we came up with the framing device of them on the campaign trail, and treating the show as a musical rally, we got really excited and knew we had to bring it back.
How has the content evolved since last time?
Jake Weinstein: Things have changed a lot. Almost half of the songs are new, to address all the news that’s broken since our last performance: the impeachment, financial conflicts of interest, democratic primaries, and the overall worsening state of our union. And almost all the banter in between songs is new.
How have the impeachment hearings influenced your choices?
JW: Handling impeachment has been interesting. Of course, it’s the biggest story right now and we’re chomping at the bit to talk about it, but since the show is from their point of view, and is set at a Trump rally, it would be the last thing they would want to talk about.
SN: We’ve had a lot of fun coming up with creative ways for their thoughts and feelings about the impeachment to pop out.
Given how quickly things change in the political arena, how many last minute additions/subtractions to the show do you anticipate?
SN: A lot of it we have written before, but we have to be open because you never know what’s going to happen. When we performed the show last time we were in the middle of the government shutdown (remember that?!) and it was actually the day of the show that the funding resolution passed to reopen the government.
JW: We’ll see what happens between now and January 4th.
If you could ask Ivanka and Jared anything, what would you want to know?
To Jared: What makes you think you know everything about everything? Can you please list your qualifications?
To Ivanka: How do you sleep at night? Also… true or false: your haircut is inspired by Shiv Roy from HBO’s Succession.
To both: Do you really believe you are a force for good in this world? Or is it truly all just a front for personal gain?
Javanka! January 4th, 2020 – doors open at 9pm. Performance begins at 9:30pm
To purchase tickets, visit: https://54below.com/events/javanka-back-in-new-york/