Review: 53% OF at Center Theatre At Seattle Center

A glance at all sides

By: Jun. 18, 2024
Review: 53% OF at Center Theatre At Seattle Center
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Review: 53% OF at Center Theatre At Seattle Center
Teal Sherer and Shermona Mitchell in 
53% Of at Center Theater at Seattle Center.
Photo Credits: Giao Nguyen

Are you a good person? Does anyone truly know if they are? Countless factors go into deciding such a weighted answer, for a lot of people, politics plays a large role. 53% Of is a direct work of art that attempts to answer that question, paying special attention to that factor. The show, wittingly directed by Shermona Mitchell & Teresa Thuman has opened at Center Theatre at Seattle Center.

53% Of is aptly named for the percentage of white women who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election (based on initial exit polls). It toggles between different friend groups - a conservative Pennsylvania moms group, their husbands, and an enclave of progressive 20-something New Yorkers all portrayed by the same group of six female presenting actors. The show offers a hyperbolized glance at how different groups deal with and celebrate various political outcomes. 

The show stars Teal Sherer (Denise/Derek/Dana), Caitlin Frances (Leslie/Larry/Lucy), Karli Reinbold (Sue/Stan/Sasha), Zandi Carlson (Vicky/Victor/Vivian), Mandy Nelson (PJ/RJ/JJ), and on top of directing, Shermona Mitchell portrays KJ. This is a versatile and impressive cast that quickly shifts from character to character, beyond believably.

Teal Sherer was the standout of the night for me. Her timing and wit without a doubt elevate the show, certain line readings felt so brilliant I wanted to hit rewind and hear them again. Watching Sherer portray three vastly different people was wildly impressive and magnetic. 

Caitlin Frances’ portrayal of Leslie in the first act of the show had the audience, and me, howling in our seats. Her comedic timing is impeccable and it’s clear she put a lot of heart and soul into finding the exact mannerisms and nuances of the character. Also, watching her portrayal of Leslie juxtaposed against Larry was shocking, in the best way possible. 

Review: 53% OF at Center Theatre At Seattle Center
Karli Reinbold, Teal Sherer, Zandi Carlson,
and Caitlin Frances in 
53% Of at Center Theater at Seattle Center.
Photo Credits: Giao Nguyen

I left the theater wishing Shermona Mitchell had more stage time. Their portion of the show was the most electric, and their rapport with Sherer felt fully processed and well-understood. I love the way Mitchell takes their time with each line, it feels real and adds a new level of excellence to the back half of the show.

Each member of the ensemble so clearly understands the archetypes of their three different characters, at points, it’s hard to remember that it’s the same actors, genuinely.

This is also thanks to the creative team, who perfectly designed a morphable set, providing a unique playground for each act. Dousing the mom’s group backdrop with corny winter wonderland-style decorations that quickly turned into the quintessential man cave for their husbands at the shift of a scene. Props & Scenic designer Robin Macartney nailed this on the head.

The same goes for Costume Designer Doris Black. A large part of the reason the character shifts are so believable is the varying costume designs that change so drastically as the actors go from act to act. One moment Karli Reinbold is wearing the cutest penguin Christmas sweater you’ve ever seen, the next she’s in a trucker-adjacent outfit. The costumes fit the characters perfectly and definitely elevated the story.

53% Of is a great pick for someone ready to be entertained or even educated. Yes, there are quite a few hand-over-your-mouth moments, but that’s half the fun. 53% Or runs from now until June 30 at Center Theatre at Seattle Center. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:


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