‘Ghost Of John McCain’ Producers Extend Invitation To Meghan McCain & Husband Ben Domenech: “We Think They Will Love It”

Producers of the upcoming musical comedy Ghost Of John McCain have responded to angry comments made by the late senator’s daughter Meghan McCain, saying that they will again extend an invitation to Meghan and husband Ben Domenech to attend a reading of the musical before it opens Off Broadway this fall.

“We think they will love it, just as audiences have to date,” said producers Jason Rose and Max Fose in a statement responding to tweets made by Meghan McCain earlier this week in which she called the musical – which she apparently has not seen – “trash” and “a gross cash grab by mediocre desperate people.”

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As Deadline reported Tuesday, Ghost of John McCain, a musical comedy set inside the brain of Donald Trump, will make its world premiere Off Broadway this fall. The musical, written by Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola and produced by a team that includes political strategist Rose and John McCain’s longtime campaign consultant Fose, begins performances at New York’s Soho Playhouse on Labor Day Weekend. The engagement runs through November 5 – election day.

“This is trash,” Meghan McCain posted on X/Twitter about Deadline’s report about the Off Broadway debut of the musical comedy. She added, “nothing more than a gross cash grab by mediocre desperate people…I hope it bombs.”

In a lengthy statement, the producers have responded, providing additional details of the musical and its development.

“John McCain remains a universally respected and important figure in the ongoing dialogue about the state and future of American politics–and he certainly lives on inside the mind of Donald Trump,” the statement reads. “Ghost of John McCain is a psychological exploration of what that might be like for the senator, as he gathers a ‘Greek Chorus’ coalition of Hillary Clinton, Eva Perón, Teddy Roosevelt, Taylor Swift, Lindsay Graham, Roy Cohn and Kanye West and everyone else squatting rent free up there to rebel against the former President’s relentless demands for affirmation.

“The musical,” the statement continues, “employs everything from outrageous humor and raucous debate to sublime sentimentality to present the clash between McCain and Trump, two American titans of the last century. We hope that their journey can continue the senator’s legacy of inspiring all of us to do whatever we can for the causes of justice and freedom.

“This show began as the passion project of John McCain’s first chief of staff, the late Grant Woods, who eulogized the senator beside President Biden before his own death in 2021. Our team has been in conversation with the McCain family ever since. Meghan and her husband were invited to our reading of the show this past winter, and they will be invited to our upcoming reading on May 9th as well. We think they will love it, just as audiences have to date. John McCain once said of his favorite novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, that it instructed him to see the world as it is, with all its corruption and cruelty, and believe it’s worth fighting for anyway. Such is the power of art that Grant Woods set out to harness in this musical. We’ve been honored to carry on that work and can’t wait to share it with all of New York this coming election season.”

The producers’ response comes after two social media posts by Meghan McCain, who expressed her displeasure with the show in no uncertain terms:

The project made headlines in January when a development workshop was announced, drawing some consternation from the daughter of the late senator. “My family has not authorized it nor was aware of it,” Meghan McCain told The Messenger at the time. “I was as surprised as everyone else to see the announcement.”

Authored by Elmegreen, with Fornarola writing the music and lyrics, Ghost of John McCain will be directed by Catie Davis, who served as Associate Director on Broadway’s Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The cast and full creative team will be announced at a later date.

“I’m excited to join the team behind this wildly imaginative and quirky musical,” said Davis in a statement. “To build a theatrical world where political figures of past and present are held hostage inside Donald Trump’s brain, and his brain is a musical? What a delightfully fun challenge. The writing of Ghost of John McCain will have audience members leaning into the twists and turns of this timely, hilarious story.”

Producing is Quixote Productions, founded by political strategist and public relations executive Rose in conjunction with McCain consultant and public affairs executive Fose.

In a statement earlier this week announcing the Off Broadway debut , Rose said, “Our goal is not to be just another poker turning up the heat, but to bring some relief, relevance, and comedy to the body politic. We may be in a presidential election year, but this is an evergreen story anchored by the tension and dynamic between two titans of the past century. The musical is surreal.”

Added Fose, “Having served him for nearly two decades, I believe Senator McCain would laugh at this entertainment and be grateful his legacy continues to spark important conversation, from the serious to the absurd. Our hope is that this musical will remind America our democracy is worth fighting for.”

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