An interview with Kevin-Michael Moore appearing in W! The Musical, Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through October 30, $17-23

The apathetic liberals in swing states are registering to vote in record numbers, and at the time of this writing, Kerry just finished beating Bush soundly in round one of the Presidential Debates. With just a few more pushes, that hillbilly is set to topple like the oak his head is made of.

Cue Triangle Productions' W! The Musical, a showtune send-up to the befuddled tyrant with Andrew Harris (of the 3rd Floor sketch comedy group) playing everyone from Karl Rove to Osama bin Laden, and bizarro veteran of the stand-up world, Kevin-Michael Moore, playing the Fearless Leader Himself. I spoke with Moore on what an actor must do to understand the core of such a deep and complicated man… and also how he perfected that insipid squint.

I could see imitating Bush's voice and mannerisms, but is it hard making yourself look like him as well?

I have the easy part because I already have the hairline, so it's not too hard for them to make a Bush wig for me. Andrew goes from Karl Rove to Osama bin Laden to Pat Robertson, and he doesn't look at all like any of those people. Me, I just have to make my ears stick out a little more, and perfect the squint. It's the trademark facial tic that Bush has. He can't seem to open his eyes.

As an actor, is it your job to find a level of humanity in this war-mongering demon of carnage and death?

Oh certainly. To parody you have to humanize before you demonize. In the debate last night there was a really nice little moment Bush had where he could have gone for the immediate character assassination, but was noble and told Kerry that he thought he was a good father and so on. That was valuable in terms of interpreting certain parts of the show where I've been having trouble seeing him that way.

Do you have a favorite "Bush-ism" that you get to say in the show?

"Nothing is further than the truth." I think that's incredibly wonderful.