Dead presidents haunt Coney in new play

Dead presidents haunt Coney in new play
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Taking your civic duties seriously is one thing, but you should never let them go to your head.

A man and his faceless cast of U.S. presidents in Coney Island USA’s Halloween theatrical “Dirty Work at the Wax Works” is a good example why, as he loses himself completely in his world of wax and presidential paranoia.

The show follows a deranged janitor in a presidential wax museum, played convincingly by actor Scott Baker — so convincing, it’s difficult to tell when he’s acting, as he seemed to be performing the whole interview in character.

“We have to deal with Washington and Lincoln, and they’re all quite scary in their own way. That’s why I had to set them on fire,” said Baker.

What’s clear is that the janitor, and perhaps Baker himself, is tormented by none other than the former leaders of the free world, the Presidents — dead or retired — of the United States.

Apparently, Nixon is the worst.

“The other presidents don’t get along with Nixon,” said the actor.

Clinton and Kennedy are also confirmed to appear inside Baker’s mind, and also on stage, where presidents will be played by masked thespians and voiced by Baker himself — who says he’s in control.

“Actually, I am president — of my own mind,” Baker explained. “I try to control the demons, but the voices keep coming back to me again, and again, and again, and the presidents we stopped; you see, they get lonely, so I have to talk, and talk, and talk to them.”

It’s hard to tell where this one’s going, and to what low depths of human depravity the poor custodian will sink to in his quest to rid his mind of the rascally statesmen.

Certainly, some of the presidents’ more dirty secrets will be revealed.

For instance, Bill Clinton actually never inhaled, but did you know that the two-term democrat is the one who killed Kennedy, during a night of heavy drinking and time-traveling mischief.

“They can time travel, he’s a time traveler from the future. Some scary stuff going on there. As Jack Ruby said to me the other day, ‘BANG!’” Baker shouted, before emitting a maniacal and very disturbing bellow of laughter.

Fortunately, the actor became lucid long enough to ensure us that “Dirty Work in the Wax Works” will scare the audience, like it did the playwright himself, the unofficial mayor of Coney Island, Dick Zigun.

“The show’s a lot of fun and I think people will be scared out of their minds,” Baker explained. “Dick Zigun said, ‘This one scares me.’ Dick has seen it all, done it all, but this is the one that puts him in gales of terror.”

“Dirty Work at the Wax Works” at Sideshows by the Seashore (1208 Surf Ave. at W. 12th Street, www.coneyisland.com). Oct. 12–31, 6 pm. $10. Must be over 10-years old.