If you go: "Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State" runs through March 3 at the Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane, colinquinnshow.com.
Liberals and conservatives alike are subjected to relentless ridicule and contempt in actor-comedian Colin Quinn’s pugnacious and contrarian one-man show/75-minute rapid-fire rant “Red State Blue State,” which is playing a short run at Off-Broadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre in the West Village.
According to Quinn (whose recent one-man shows “Unconstitutional” and “New York Story” were filmed for Netflix), people across the country “basically want the same things” and share “universal values,” but they “can’t agree on how to get those things," and as a result, “nobody’s happy right now.”
What led to such national divisiveness? “The Republicans got too greedy. The Democrats got too needy. The Republicans want it to be the 1950s. The Democrats react like it’s still the 1950s,” Quinn says.
When it comes to Trump (described by Quinn as a “compulsively tweeting totalitarian psychopath”), Quinn claims that our differences precede Trump and would still exist without him. Quinn also suggests that many of us are not so different from Trump.
If the United States continues in its current path, Quinn believes there are three potential fates: a new Civil War (marked by turning points such as “the Battle of Six Flags” and “the Siege of Dave & Buster’s”), a separation or divorce (in which states would operate like separate European countries or Greek city-states) or a mass exit in which each citizen heads back to his or her country of origin.
Along the way, Quinn tackles and ridicules social media addiction (pointing out that virtually all of us have more “followers” than Jesus did), the expectation that comedians now must be politically correct, premarital sex and celebrities taking political stances. He also argues that fundamental constitutional concepts like freedom of speech and equality are now being misconstrued to detrimental effect.
As a finale, Quinn tries to put each state in its place with a custom-made insult. For instance, New York constitutes “drunken texters at SantaCon” and New Jersey is “a bad idea that continued.”
Even if you disagree with Quinn, his fast, loose and furious mode of presentation (as directed by Bobby Moresco) is consistently exciting and packed with solid laugh lines and smart comparisons between history, politics and pop culture.