|Alice M. Gatling &|
Philadelphia Theatre Company in its home at Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets, is presenting the East Coast Premiere of Hillary and Clinton through June 26. Playwright Lucas Hnath has us imagine a parallel universe in which a woman named Hillary (Alice M. Gatling), is running for president in a country called The United States of America. We are to further imagine that she is married to a man named Bill (John Procaccino) who was a very popular but unfaithful ex-president of this same country. Hillary is losing in the polls in New Hampshire and has several decisions to make. Does she go to Bill for help and in doing so, possibly give up her control of the campaign? Does she follow the advice of her campaign manager Mark (Todd Cerveris) who has not been very successful in running her campaign so far, or should she take the offer of the other guy( Lindsay Smiling) to drop out of the race and run as his VP if he should win the nomination? These are all big decisions for a strong character to tackle. The problem with this piece is that there are no strong characters. Hillary waffles between wanting Bill’s help and then refusing it. She is strongest when she admits that she stayed married to a man who cheated because she wanted the power that would evenutally come her way if she remained by his side. Bill is presented as pretty much of a whining wimp until he makes a decision behind Hillary’s back which angers her but assures her the primary win in New Hampshire. The other guy who at first wanted Hillary to leave the race discovers she has taken money from Bill which has come from unsavory origins, so he no longer wants any part of her. This discovery is made very quietly with no vitriol. The play begins with Alice M Gatling speaking to the audience about all the infinite possibilities of multiple universes in the world and ends with a similar speech. There are chuckles in between, but there are no great dramatic moments. For more information or to get tickets to see this play, call 215-985-0420 or visit PhiadelphiaTheatreCompany.org.