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Review: LOOKING OVER PRESIDENT'S SHOULDERS at Tabard Theater, San Jose

Tabard Theater serves up a delicious offering of "behind the politicians" life in the White House.

Review: LOOKING OVER PRESIDENT'S SHOULDERS at Tabard Theater, San Jose

"Looking Over the President's Shoulder" by James Still

Tabard Theater serves up a delicious offering of "behind the politicians" life in the White House. The show, directed by Doug Baird, is an ambitiously abundant portion of storytelling from the man just a step away from four different Presidents. Tabard's challenge to find an actor who can carry this monumental role is placed firmly on the shoulders of James Creer. It is a bet that pays off handsomely.Review: LOOKING OVER PRESIDENT'S SHOULDERS at Tabard Theater, San Jose Still's story about "butler to the Presidents" (Alonzo Fields) is a fascinating account steeped in history with a rich slice of personal insight. Fields, the man, was born in 1900 and at age 31 shelved his dream to become an opera singer to go to work at the White House. The grandson of a freed slave, who grew up in an all black community in Indiana, endured the hardship of the Great Depression while starting a family of his own.

Needing to put food on the table, Fields accepts the butler job and is quickly placed in a position of staff leadership. While serving Presidents Hoover, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower, Fields is faced with the dramatic changes of White House families, wars, and the march of changing times. This story, which inspired the 2013 movie "The Butler," is an interesting and unique perspective.

James Creer's solo performance is a thing of beauty. Creer moves with ease from one storyline to the next as he covers the 21 years that Fields served the Presidents, and the nation. The charismatic Creer regales the famous guests through the years including Winston Churchill, Marian Anderson, Errol Flynn and the king and queen of England from the perspective of the front row while he's watching the passing parade of history. Creer delivers the humor and pride of the man, with attentive detail, in a story only he (Alonzo) can tell.

Amid the chaos of a pandemic, Tabard has rapidly adapted itself into a high tech video production studio. Sans live audience, the production has shifted into live streaming itself into the homes of all who will attend. Somewhat aided by the local arts community, the Tabard (like other live venues) has had to modify the way it reaches an audience and absorb the cost of such a shift in production. Check out other upcoming productions you can tune into or donate directly to the Tabard to keep these important productions coming your way.

Review: LOOKING OVER PRESIDENT'S SHOULDERS at Tabard Theater, San Jose

DATES: July 24th through August 9th, 2020

LOCATION: The Tabard Theater, 29 N San Pedro, San Jose CA tabardtheater.org via multi-camera live stream

Regional Awards


From This Author - Paul Bolton

Dr. Bolton has reviewed theater for BWW since 2015 An award winning actor and sought after vocalist he has performed nationwide.

... (read more about this author)

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Drama revolving around the behind-the-scenes White House from the perspective of the Butler. Looking Over President's shoulder at the Tabard Theater San Jose, CA starring James Creer