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years, “Rush” stars vet­eran im­pro­vi­sor Mark Sut­ton in the lead role. It pre­views Sun­day and Tues­day, and opens Wed­nes­day for an ini­tial seven-week run.

That’s how the Blago show be­gan: small and unas­sum­ing, its only real cos­tume a damn nice wig. The pro­duc­tion — which comed­i­cally evis­cer­ated Illi­nois’ disgraced ex­gov­er­nor — wound up play­ing to packed houses, earn­ing na­tional me­dia at­ten­tion, re­lo­cat­ing to the roomier Chicago Shake­speare The­ater at Navy Pier and spawn­ing sev­eral road shows. Sec­ond City es­ti­mates that more than 30,000 peo­ple saw it over the course of seven months. The fi­nal gross ex­ceeded a half-mil­lion dol­lars. With “Rush,” Sec­ond City is hop­ing for an­other break­out suc­cess and even more na­tional ex­po­sure. Wed­nes­day through March 24 (pre­views at 2 p.m. Sun­day and 8:30 p.m. Tues­day) Sec­ond City e.t.c., 1608 N. Wells $25 312) 337-3992


“He’s an in­trigu­ing char­ac­ter,” Fur­man says of Lim­baugh. “I agree with some of the stuff he says. He’s a smart man. He makes a good point some­times. But just the way he says it, I can’t lis­ten to him. I get up­set. I get a pain in my stom­ach.” Shanoff is less po­lit­i­cally coy. “I’m a lib­eral guy,” he says. “I be­lieve it would be nice if every­one was to­gether, and I wish there was more bi­par­ti­san­ship and all that stuff.”

In re­al­ity, such “Kum­baya” kin­ship is rare. And so Shanoff must fight the good fight.

“I’m tired of con­ser­va­tives feel­ing that they can get away with any­thing they want, when­ever they want,” he pro­claims. “And this is my way, as a lib­eral, to use my art — I’m sound­ing pompous here and I apol­o­gize — to ex­press my point of view.”

Not sur­pris­ingly, much of “Rush’s” satiric bash­ing is cen­tered on Lim­baugh and con­ser­va­tives. One ex­am­ple: “Our Man Rush,” a melodic ren­der­ing of El Rushbo’s most ou­tra­geous on-air state­ments, con­tains such racially of­fen­sive gems as “Take that bone out of your nose” (to a black woman who phoned in) and a ver­sion of his much-lam­basted Haiti re­marks from ear­lier this month, when Lim­baugh told a caller (and thus mil­lions of loyal lis­ten­ers) that “we’ve al­ready do­nated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. in­come tax.”

And yes, in case you’re won­der­ing, there’s a song about OxyCon­tin, the pre­scrip­tion pain med­i­ca­tion to which Lim­baugh has said he be­came ad­dicted fol­low­ing in­ef­fec­tual spinal surgery. (He en­tered a drug re­hab fa­cil­ity in 2003.) Here’s the cho­rus, de­liv­ered in a Ca­lypso style: OxyCon­tin, it makes me feel high Who would pre­dict, I’m an ad­dict? No one, I’ll tell you why. ’Cause I’ll keep telling ‘Dit­to­heads’ to just say no to drugs

While mak­ing my­self stoned as hell, which OxyCon­tin does!



Ed Fur­man (left) and T.J. Shanoff, writ­ers of “Rush Lim­baugh! The Mu­si­cal,” which be­gins Wed­nes­day at Sec­ond City, say Lim­baugh fans, as well as de­trac­tors, will find a lot to like about their show.

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