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Review: THE OUTSIDER at The Rosette At The Baker Center

Review: THE OUTSIDER at The Rosette At The Baker Center

An exciting Austin Premiere! The Outsider runs through October 16th at the Rosette Theater at the Baker Center.

What does it mean to make the best of a bad situation? In the case of several gubernatorial advisors, it can mean many different things. A true political farce, The Outsider asks its audience to imagine what would happen if the Governor of a small state was forced to resign amid a sex scandal and the Lieutenant Governor was an introvert with a penchant for facts and figures but no desire to be involved in "politics." Is it possible to turn the new Governor, who could only manage to eke out the phrase "help me" during his swearing-in ceremony, into a politician who can win the special election that surely will be called?

Review: THE OUTSIDER at The Rosette At The Baker Center
Steve Rogers, photographer

American viewers are no strangers to political comedy. Cult classics like The West Wing have defined the genre. Written in 2015, The Outsider fits snugly in this family but makes space for itself by focusing on the office of the Governor rather than the President, as many others often do. By no means is the office of the Governor a small one, but by focusing on it here, a sense of the familiar is created for the audience. Commonly known as "the blue island in a sea of red," Austin theatres and their audiences are intimately familiar with the Governor's office. This makes The Outsider a brilliant choice for Beyond August Productions. It is evident that this young company has massive potential.

Each member of this cast of seven shines. Micheal Stuart convincingly portrays the awkward-but-loveable now Gov. Ned Newley. Stuart's portrayal provides the soft heartedness which crucial for a show centered around politics, a topic that so often loses heart quickly. Patrick Wheeler exuberantly brings Dave Riley the now Governor's Chief of Staff to life. You wouldn't expect a role like Chief of Staff to include physical comedy, but Wheeler does it in stride. Shannon Embry as pollster Paige Caldwell brings sweet optimism to the stage. The hilarious Robyn Conner sparkles as Louise Peakes, the quirky and forgetful assistant who haphazardly becomes the Governor's new running mate. Tim Blackwood brings balance to the opportunistic pundit-for-hire Arthur Vance. Blackwood portrays him as just slimy enough that you believe he is exactly who he says he is, but not so much that you hate him. Jill Klopp Turner and Darren Scharf skillfully provide the necessary element of chaos as reporter and camera operator duo Rachel Parsons and A.C. Peterson. Finally, this group cohesively turns under the always genius direction of Jeff Hinkle.

The Outsider runs through October 16th at the Rosette Theater at the Baker Center. Tickets are $25 for general admission or $35 for preferred seating. The Rosette is an intimate venue so you'll want to scoop tickets up quickly. Attendance at The Outsider would make for a lovely date night or afternoon outing. The show runs about 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission. Masks are not required. The theatre is accessible but there is a crushed granite path to the front door and the accessible restrooms are on a different floor than the theatre space.




From This Author - Mackenzie Vance

Mackenzie began her life in the theatre world acting in school and summer theatre programs. As an adult, she found that the technical side is more her speed and she is so thankful for the time... (read more about this author)


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