Review: POTUS At Speakeasy Stage is a Fast Paced Look At the Behind the Scenes of the White House

This production runs now until October 15th.

By: Sep. 26, 2023
Review: POTUS At Speakeasy Stage is a Fast Paced Look At the Behind the Scenes of the White House

It’s well known that running this country as the President of the United States isn’t a one-man job. It takes an entire team of people to run this country, and many of those folks behind the scenes are women. However, due to the fears of some citizens, we have yet to have a woman serve as the President. Selina Fillinger’s play POTUS: OR, BEHIND EVERY GREAT DUMBASS ARE SEVEN WOMEN TRYING TO KEEP HIM ALIVE (now being presented by the Speakeasy Stage Company at the Calderwood Pavilion now through October 15) examines some of the women’s lives and what it may be like to be in their shows.

The play begins with a discussion between Press Secretary, Jean (played by Laura Latreille) and the Cheif of Staff, Harriet (played by Lisa Yuen) where we learn that the president used what many consider to be one of the worst swear words a man can utter to describe his wife during an address. We spend the rest of the nearly two-hour play watching all these women try to cover up for the President (only referred to as POTUS) and end up in deeper shenanigans. 

Review: POTUS At Speakeasy Stage is a Fast Paced Look At the Behind the Scenes of the White House

Paula Plum’s direction and Angie Jepson’s fight and intimacy choreography were fantastic at guiding the cast in bringing this play to life. When I walked in and saw the jagged set designed by Jenna McFarland Lord, I knew what the feel of the play was going to be. The set was made up of four pieces that could be moved around to make different locations.

While the whole cast worked well together, and each of them had their own moments to shine, there were three members of the company who truly stood out to me. The first is Catia who played Chris, a White House press member who is trying to prove her worth and get the next big scoop. Chris is as close to a “straight man” as we get in this play. She keeps us grounded while still being bizarre. Catia played this role extremely well and made the character believable. Monique Ward Lonergan was perfectly cast in the role of Dusty, the President’s pregnant mistress. Lonergan perfectly balanced the ditzy parts of the character with the more wise and down-to-earth parts of the character. Finally, and certainly not least, is Marianna Bossham in the role of Stephanie. I became a fan of Bossham when I saw her in Speakeasy’s production of PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS and she did not disappoint in this role. Stephanie isn’t the largest role in the cast, but whenever Bossham was onstage (even in the background) it was difficult to take my eyes off her because I never knew what she was going to do next. 

In a Boston theatre season that looks to be stacked with many hits, POTUS is sure to be a standout production. 

Review: POTUS At Speakeasy Stage is a Fast Paced Look At the Behind the Scenes of the White House

POTUS: OR, BEHIND EVERY DUMBASS ARE SEVEN WOMEN TRYING TO KEEP HIM ALIVE is playing now through October 15th at the BCA Calderwood Pavilion. The play is written by Selina Fillinger, directed by Paula Plum, and features fight and intimacy choreography by Angie Japson. Rebecca Glick serves as costume designer, Karen Perlow as lighting designer, and Aubrey Dube as sound designer. The show is stage-managed by Lauren J. Burke, with Kendyl Trott as Assistant Stage Manager. The cast features Marianna Bassham, Johanna Carlisle Zepeda, Catia, Crystin Gilmore, Laure Latreille, Monique Ward Lonergan, and Lisa Tuen. Tickets and more information may be found at Click Here. Pictures by Nile Scott Studios. 


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