What can one person do about racism, gun violence, climate change, income inequality, bigotry, ignorance, war and greed?
“Write funny songs,” says satirical musician Roy Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, who has earned praise from the likes of Joni Mitchell, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Monty Python’s Terry Jones, will bring his show “ReZist” to The Palms Playhouse (13 Main St. in Winters) on Thursday, April 19, starting at 8 p.m.
A funny and forceful affirmation of peace and social justice, “ReZist” is 90 minutes of Zimmerman’s original songs.
“Sometimes I think satire is the most hopeful and heartfelt form of expression,” said Zimmerman, “because in calling out the world’s absurdities and laughing in their face, I’m affirming the real possibility for change.”
Over 20 years on stages, screens and airwaves across America, Zimmerman has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for peace and justice. His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime. He founded comedy quartet The Foreman, and recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. His YouTube videos have garnered tens of millions views, and he’s a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
Zimmerman has shared stages with Bill Maher, Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, Holly Near, Arlo Guthrie, John Oliver, The Roches, Andy Borowitz, The Chambers Brothers, Kate Clinton and George Carlin. He tours the country constantly with his wife and co-writer Melanie Harby, who is also a three-time West Coast bluegrass flat-picking guitar champion.
The world is full of funny songs, but Zimmerman’s rhyme-intensive originals are also savvy calls to action.
With songs like “The Shady Bunch” (a send-up of the Trump administration to the tune of “The Brady Bunch” theme) and a number calling out mega-church preacher Joel Osteen’s actions in hurricane-ravaged Houston to the tune of “Jolene,” Zimmerman sees his music and shows as bringing laughter and encouragement to progressive-minded people who need a lot of both in the Age of Trump.
“I get accused of ‘preaching to the choir,’” he said, “but that’s not how I think of it. I think of it as ‘entertaining the troops.’”
Tickets for Roy Zimmerman’s Thursday, April 19, show at The Palms Playhouse are $22 and are available online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite as well as at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland and at the door if not sold out.
For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com and royzimmerman.com.