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Rudy Giuliani has held many titles over his long political career. He’s been a celebrated lawyer, a beloved New York City mayor, a MAGA poster boy, a Borat prank victim, and most recently, a deranged, seditious cartoon villain even Donald Trump himself won’t associate with.
With a life as weird and wild as that, it kind of makes sense that one of the more talked-about movies premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival happens to be a documentary-musical hybrid based on Giuliani’s most famous exploits. No really, director Jed Rothstein — who previously helmed the popular WeWork documentary — is debuting his latest hyper-realistic nonfiction piece at Tribeca this year. Titled “Rudy! A Documusical,” the movie blends archival footage documenting Giuliani’s rise and disastrous fall with musical numbers performed by Broadway actors. The numbers have been written to narrate specific moments in Giuliani’s life, moments Rothstein said felt so outlandish, that they had to be set to music.
“Rudy is this very unique and mercurial character,” Rothstein told Variety. “He’s very operatic. His personal story is like an opera with these cartoonishly extravagant highs and lows. The songs add an important emotional perspective to a story of a person who has lived in the public eye for a long time and help us better understand why he did what he did.”
According to those who knew him best, Giuliani’s downward descent began when he married his third wife and got a taste for the high life.
“The people that knew him best and knew him longest, say that after 9/11 he had a choice to go high or go low,” Rothstein revealed. “For many years he was a public servant, living on a public servant’s salary. But after he re-married [third wife] Judith Nathan, they got a taste of the high life. They got a taste of owning houses in the Hamptons and Palm Beach and traveling on private jets. Once he made making money the yardstick of success, that’s when he became a cautionary tale.”
Giuliani declined to be a part of the documusical but here’s hoping the cousin-marrying act lives up to the hype.