Entertainment, Music & musicals
Inspired by a true story, Who’s Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War is a satirical musical comedy with music and book by Marshall Paillet, lyrics and book by A.D. Penedo, based on an unproduced screenplay by J.T. Allen. Presented as a support group for people who started the Iraq War this dark, boisterous and irreverent story follows a handful of mid-level spies whose vanity and office politics contributed to the worst intelligence blunder in modern history. The show was produced Off-Off Broadway at the Actor’s Temple in 2005 and Off-Broadway at the St Luke’s Theatre in 2017.
The musical is set in an “AA-style” support group meeting for people who believe (or don’t want to believe) that their actions lead to the start of the Iraq War. The story focuses on the recruitment and eventual disgrace of an Iraqi defector, codenamed "Curveball" and the use and misuse of his testimony by the CIA, State Department, and Bush Administration. In the show, as in reality, Curveball provides Western intelligence agencies with false intelligence on Iraqi mobile weapons laboratories. This intelligence, which is later discovered to have been fabricated, was used by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his 2003 speech to the UN Security Council to justify the invasion of Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.
The show is a reflection of how people in power, whether high, mid or low level in government, shape and form our world and the importance of keeping them accountable in times of crisis.