By Elizabeth Ann Foster POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying To Keep Him Alive.
In POTUS at the Shubert Theater, the President has blurted out another gaffe, and everyone is scurrying to fix his latest blunder. Sound all too familiar? Well, in this case, it takes more than his wife and favorable news reporters to cover up this mess. It’s so bad that the care of seven women is needed for damage control.
The seven women are FLOTUS, his wife Margaret (Vanessa Williams), Chief of Staff Harriett (Julie White), Jean’s press secretary (Suzy Nakamura), his dalliance-romp in the hay Dusty (Julianne Hough), the prim and proper Secretary/Gatekeeper Stephanie (Rachel Dratch), the Potus’s sister Bernadette (Lea Delaria) and the Journalist Chris (Lilli Cooper).
Vanessa Williams got a standing ovation when she walked on stage. Sporting white CROCS with heels – that is correct, a must-have for those D.C. torrential downpours.
The real genius of the show and the best acting garnering the most laughs was Dratch. Perhaps her craft developed from her seven seasons on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Amazingly, this is Dratch’s Broadway debut – where have you been? We witness her losing control in a drug-induced euphoria as she glides in and out of scenes, sometimes in a pink inner tube.
In the Playbill is an offer for $39 tickets to see the show a second time, and I would like to see Dratch again. It is a skit out of the SNL all-time favorites hall of fame.
In the Playbill was a flyer promoting THE POTUS COALITION. The flyer describes the Coalition as “a group of seven non-partisan, women-led, non-profit organizations working for women’s advocacy, agency, and activism of women throughout all levels of leadership and in service of equal rights, representation, fair elections, and access to voter registration.” They list their partners to include Black Voters Matter, Center for Reproductive Rights, ERA Coalition, Ignite, She The People, Supermajority Education Fund, and Vote MAMA.
It’s unusual that a play digresses into political activism but here is a link to the IRS search page for not-for-profit tax returns. Be sure the organization to which you donate spends the majority of its funds on services, not overhead.
You are invited to join a series of conversations with the cast, guests, creative team, and POTUS coalition partners live-streamed and in-person at Henrietta Hudson, 438 Hudson Street. RSVP@POTUSway.com. For a detailed schedule, live streaming, and resources, visit potus.moretotalkabout.com.
A cast gels by the exit or stage door after the show. We saw everyone in the cast come out. They signed autographs, hugged fans, posed for pictures, meet their significant other, be it their dog or human partner, and walk off into anonymity unscathed by the experience. It was heartwarming after such recent disappointments at stage doors, the worst being Macbeth with a close second of American Utopia. So, enjoy the cascade of stars exiting the stage as seen in my posted pics.
This is a fun, fun, fun show. Do not be put off thinking this is a political show. It is funny enough for both parties. If you want to laugh, this is your ticket.
“Smaller than a nut sack in winter…on ice.” – POTUS
POTUS: Or Behind Every Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying To Keep Him Alive, written by debut playwright Selina Fillinger and directed by Susan Stroman.
Cast: Vanessa Williams (Margaret), Rachel Dratch (Stephanie), Julianne Hough (Dusty), Julie White (Harriet), Lilli Cooper (Chris), Lea Delaria (Bernadette), Suzy Nakamura (Jean).
Creative Team: Stage Manager Jen Ash, Scenic Design Beowulf Boritt, Costume Design Linda Cho, Lighting Design Sonoyo Nishakawa, Sound Design Jessica Paz, Hair and Wig Design Cookie Jordan, Fight and Intimacy Director Rocio Mendez, Makeup Design Kirk Cambridge-Del Pesche, Arranger & Music Director Sonny Paladino, Casting Director Taylor Williams, Production Stage Manager Johnny Milani, Associate Director Leah Hofmann.
POTUS is playing at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre on Broadway 225 West 44th Street Between Broadway and 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
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Running Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes, including one intermission
** Proof of Vaccination and ID required. Masks must be worn throughout the performance.