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  • Photo du rédacteurYanik Comeau

Anglo theatre: Selina Fellinger’s "POTUS": Devilishly Hilarious!

by Yanik Comeau (Comunik Média / ZoneCulture)


   It seems to me I can’t start this review without honouring the amazing work Segal Artistic Director Lisa Rubin has been doing in the last few years both as Artistic Director and director of some of the most memorable productions I’ve seen in Montreal since she’s been in place. Since catching Bad Jews in 2017, I’ve been constantly mesmerized by Rubin’s artistic vision (bringing both edgy and consensual plays to an often conservative – let’s call a spade a spade – audience while also attracting a younger crowd, thirsty for boundary-pushing works) and her awe-inspiring creativity and talent as director of such works as Indecent and Prayer for the French Republic.



   As the 2023-2024 season comes to a close, Lisa brings the incredibly funny Broadway hit POTUS or Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, a raucously delirious slapstick comedy that has audiences roaring with laughter and screaming with ecstasy at the relief the play provides from the horribly depressing political state of things not just in the United States but around the world. The play is a cross between the Julia Louis-Dreyfus TV comedy Veep and vaudeville legend Ray Cooney’s farces (Run For Your Wife, Two Into One, Tom, Dick and Harry) with a generous sprinkling of feminine, feminist and queer magic.


 

   POTUS’s premise might have been inspired by the Orange One’s famously recorded "grab ‘em by the p***y" abomination… or anything else 45 has said in the last 10 years. Although the FLOTUS resembles Michelle Obama (the beautiful, elegant and talented Rachael Crawford plays Margaret), you wouldn’t have caught Barack dead (pun intended) saying the c-word. But the four-letter word sends the all-female White House staff into a frenzy and complete and utter mayhem ensues. The young intern (Dusty played by the vivacious and endearing Kayleigh Choiniere) is mistook for the new Stormy Daniels (well, kinda…), the President’s lesbian sister shows up straight (no pun intended) from prison for her presidential pardon (amazing Elvira Kurt) and tries to hook back up with her old flame, Press Secretary Jean (fabulous Jennifer Villaverde), while lactating working mom Chris (terrific Cherissa Richards) juggles with the stuff going on at home and at the office and the very conservative Chief of Staff’s secretary Stephanie (the great Catherine Fitch who reminded me of the late, great Beth Howland of TV’s Alice fame) gets accidently high as a kite as her boss Harriet (stupendous Astrid van Wieren) runs around the office like a chicken with her head cut off.

 

   POTUS is just a delicious evening of delirious fun. Lisa Rubin uses EO Sharp’s splendid spinning sets brilliantly, making even the transitions between scenes flawless. Everything about this production is a great introduction to the light and lightness of summer. A Beautiful (pun intented) way to end the season!


Selina Fellinger’s POTUS or Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive Directed by Lisa Rubin Assistant to the Director: Alyssa Angelucci-Wall Starring Kayleigh Choiniere (Dusty), Rachael Crawford (Margaret), Catherine Fitch (Stephanie), Elvira Kurt (Bernadette), Cherissa Richards (Chris), Astrid van Wieren (Harriet) and Jennifer Villaverde (Jean) Set Designer: EO Sharp Costume Designer: Louise Bourret Sound & Music Composer: Christian Thomas Lighting Designer: Sonoyo Nishikawa Creative Consultant: Leila Ghaemi Casting: Rachel Glait Stage Manager: Trevor Barrette Assistant Stage Manager: Ava Bishop Apprentice Stage Manager: Raveena Ambani Fight and Intimacy Director: Cara Rebecca A Segal Centre for Performing Arts production May 12th to June 2nd, 2024 (Running Time: 2 hours including 15-minute intermission) Sylvan Adams TheatreSegal Centre for Performing Arts, 5170 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal Box Office: 514-739-7944 Photos: Emelia Hellman

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