I’m so happy I saw this and I’m so glad I didn’t see anything before or after it. This isn’t a “fringe” show and it requires and deserves attention. In the current political climate I know we’d all like to run away, but this is an important time to listen. Playwright Ray Richmond has created a beautiful piece – it feels sort of like a love letter to Obama and to the values that sometimes sneak out of a well intentioned but very flawed country.
The show doesn’t sugar coat anything but it also doesn’t dramatize – it feels real from start to finish and has a few heightened moments of comedy and drama that are beautifully earned- thanks in part to the lovely direction by Lee Costello who has made what is essentially two guys talking to each other for 80 minutes one of the most gripping pieces in Fringe.
I wanted to cry the whole time because of all of the emotions this piece pulled out of me- the very real danger we are currently in, and even more than that, the sheer audacity, ignorance, and most of all, Narcisism of Trump who is played expertly by Harry S Murphy. He doesn’t cross into caricature territory, which is hard cause this show could’ve easily gone that route. I’m thankful it did not.
Murphy’s “trump” has a few terrifying moments of laughter that, if you freezeframe, could easily pass for the real Donald. He has a few physical gestures that ring very true but he isn’t doing a Sat night live spoof, nor is his scene partner.
I wanted to cry and shout and throw things, but most notably, in watching this Trump interpretation, I saw the overgrown child having a temper tantrum, being given power he doesn’t deserve and cannot handle…
Joshua Wolf Coleman as Barack Obama is perhaps the most lovable character in all of this years fringe and I wanted to get up and hug him even though he is not actually Barack- he reminded me how much I loved our president and he really broke down a lot of nuances both in his physical depiction (which was spot on) and in his delivery of the script, which really nailed this great leader in our American history.
In a small, but memorable role, Trevor Alkazian is quietly sensitive and professional and real as Randall- when Barack puts his hand on Randall’s shoulder at the end I might have had something in my eye…
I was hesitant to see a show about trump but this one truly gets it right on all levels and this is important stuff. Know that if you have the opportunity to see this or anything else by this production team, you’re in good hands.