Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I wasn't sure from the hype exactly what kind of play this would be. His last play, Butley, was a serious drama - so what's a boy to think?! Well, after about the first 3 minutes - it's clear - David Mamet has penned a stinging romp - an indictment of current public policy and politics in general. Only a little "potty mouth" this time, however. (Mamet is known for his extreme language). Nathan Lane, Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) and Dylan Baker (Mauritius, et al) have a grand ol' time on stage - you can tell. Just don't try to take this one too seriously - at all. Enjoy it for what it is.

Nathan Lane, the unpopular, dumb, and scheming president (remind you of anyone these days?) needs money for his presidential library - or to get re-elected (anything is possible with money and media). Dylan Baker is his trusted advisor (the only one apparently) and straight man to Lane. Laurie Metcalf plays his brilliant lesbian speech writer. They all get tangled up in issues (and laughs) around gay marriage, Indian reservations, gambling, special interests (the turkeys), and political issues and gaffs galore!

As you would expect, Lane aptly harpoons each topic with his natural comic genius. Act II was clearly funnier than Act I - plenty more of the requisite "gay jokes". There's so much farce here, it really precludes any long term teeth the show might have. It's topical and relevant to this current time. I guess we'll see in 20 years if the show can be revived and if it will need any updating or the same issues will persist!

Right time - the presidential electoral cycle in full swing; Right people - comic trio reminds you of presidents, advisers, and cabinet members current and past; Right niche - go for broke with the farce. Anything less would have required a whole lot more pomp and circumstance to execute. Go for a big belly laugh.