Gridiron Club renews its annual ‘rip’ of national, state, local politicians
by Patrick B. McGuigan
It’s February, so it’s almost time for the news – or, at least, Gridiron’s humorous version of the news. This year’s Oklahoma City Gridiron Show – scheduled for Feb. 23, 25 and 26 – is entitled “One Lump, or Two? Or: Oklahoma is Now Mary Land.”
“Gridiron” is the annual work product of the Oklahoma City Gridiron Club, journalists with print, broadcast and online news organizations. Since 1928, the Club has delivered this annual parody, skewering powerful politicians and cultural icons alike. The “gridiron” imagery comes from the idea of roasting the politicos.
Club president Beth Gollob is taking care of her recently-born baby, so this year Vice President Kim Mizar-Stem is cracking the whip to assure the show gets done on time.
Stem said, “As a group we hold Oklahoma legislators to their word. More important that anything is that we are providing an opportunity for young Oklahomans to become journalists. Naturally, we have a wonderful time in the process.”
Producer of the 2011 show is Bill Perry of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority. The state act is directed by Michael Cross of KOSU Radio, while Andrew Harris, morning traffic reporter at News9 and co-owner of Liquid Media, will direct the federal act.
New to the cast this year is the “Eggman,” a popular local radio dude who can actually sing (you’ll have to come to the show to see if you agree with that assessment). Also coming on board is John Ferguson, AKA “Count Gregor.” He’s brought along a dark-haired assistant.
Megan Glyckherr of KWTV News9 will portray Mary Fallin, while Jari Askins is played by Mizar-Stem. Returning as President Barack Obama is Bart Vleugels, with the president’s wife Michelle played by Bart’s wife Cynthia Rozmaryn. Recently departed Governor Brad Henry is again “tweaked” by veteran newsman Harris, while radio journalist Cross reprises his “crazy” interpretation of state Rep. Randy Terrill.
A plethora of other active or retired journalists round out the cast, including Jim Palmer, Jim Campbell, John Greiner, Erin Boeckmann, Ashley Barcum, Bob Hale, Sue Hale, Darrell Morrow, Joe Mays, Robert Lange, Judy Murphy, Dana Meister, Sue Perry, Don Schmidt, Jean Schmidt, Billie Rodely, Robert Burch, Ellie Sutter, Barry Jon, Bill Webster, Elaine Webster, Carol Cole-Frowe and this writer.
Larry Pierce returns as director of the Gridiron Band.
Gridiron performs at the Lyric Plaza Theatre, 1725 NW 16th. in the Plaza District. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26.
Proceeds from the parody of politics, culture and the news media itself directly support scholarships for Oklahomans studying journalism. Tickets are $30 each, and can be purchased online at www.okcgridiron.org.
Note: This is adapted from a report that first appeared in The City Sentinel, a weekly newspaper.