Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Confidence (and The Speech)

From 44 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Intelligent, Entertaining

About the show

In this new drama, when a college professor is asked by a male student about her role time in the Carter administration, she retells it dramatically, with her playing Carter, and her student playing her. More…

From the show:

On July 4, 1979 President Carter cancelled an important energy policy speech he was scheduled to give the next day and disappeared to Camp David. Ten days later, he emerged from his impromptu domestic summit and gave a new speech, the Crisis of Confidence speech, which many now view as unprecedented, farsighted and insightful. Others think it may have ultimately cost him the White House. Forty years later, college professor Cynthia Cooper is approached by a stranger, a young man, and asked to recall her time with the Carter Administration during the days before the now infamous “malaise” speech. If she is going to tell her story of that time, she is going to play the President. And the young man who wants to know her story? Well, he is going to play her. This unique cross-gender play explores the confidence of a president, a nation in chaos and women in politics.

1h 30m | Already closed | Theatre Row / Theatre One (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (44)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Intelligent, Entertaining
Avg Score

Intelligent, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Phlegmatic, Ambitious

See it if ur a politics wonk & want to (re)examine an important speech in the Carter presidency, its legacy & the potential impact it could have had.

Don't see it if you're not interested in historical fiction masked as docu-theater; ur a climate change denier; u seek a plot-heavy, action-filled drama.

Also The completely distracting gender-bending gimmick mars an otherwise no... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you remember President Carter's staff. Or if you are curious about presidential speech writing. Clever character reversal held my interest

Don't see it if you have no idea why any particular presidential speech deserves this much attention. The play fails to explain it. Some of it seems forced

Entertaining, Great acting, Clever

See it if you would enjoy watching how politics work behind the scenes in the Carter administration. Some clever gender switching in roles.

Don't see it if you want to know more about this speech. Only a brief excerpt is shown at the end.

Also This show portrays Carter as much stronger than he was. He was one of ... Read more Read less

Informative, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if If you are interested in politics, are a fan of President Carter or a fan of the politicians and the politics of his time.

Don't see it if If you are not a president Carter’s fan or do not enjoy behind the scene views of politics and politicians.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Good acting, Clever

See it if you’re interested in some behind the scenes of political history concerning Jimmy Carter, his administration, and his malaise speech.

Don't see it if you’re not interested in plays with political themes, Jimmy Carter, or his speech.

Relevant, Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing, Clever

See it if you want to see a behind-the-scenes story of the creation of Jimmy Carter's Crisis of Confidence (aka Malaise) Speech. Great ending.

Don't see it if you're not interested in how history relates to today.

Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You are interested in political history

Don't see it if You like musicals and comedies

Relevant, Ambitious, Clever, Confusing

See it if You want an original creative show. It was confusing, but I really liked it.

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional play.

Revealing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if you enjoy the interplay of historical events with a story recalling the status of women in the US workplace in the late 1970s.

Don't see it if you would not find interesting a play about the decisions behind the crafting of a President's political speech.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if If you're open to a somewhat stilted play that addresses serious political and moral ideas in a quirky way - and you have a cheap ticket.

Don't see it if You want to see a polished, multi-dimensional political play with a clearly experienced cast and playwright.

Also This play is well-suited to high school audiences and even middle-scho... Read more Read less

Relevant, Entertaining, Slow, Romantic, Intelligent

See it if you're interested in history, American politics, gender-swapped roles, female characters

Don't see it if you're not interested in American history/politics; you're uncomfortable with characters changing clothes on stage or gender-swapping roles

Dated, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You lived through the Carter years.

Don't see it if You are not a history buff.

Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you like historical plays: All the issues President Carter was passionate about, discussed in a contemporary look back.

Don't see it if you don't like the female perspective to override the narrative

During previews
Quirky, Indulgent, Fluffy, Disappointing

See it if If you want a play about the one speech crisis of confidence by jimmy Carter. A play that makes no sense.

Don't see it if If you were as embarrassed as I was that Carter made such a weak give up speech. If you did not like jimmy carter or a show withbetterplot

During previews
Quirky, Entertaining, Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you'd like to reflect on initiatives of the Carter administration that have relevance today. A different take on presenting historical acts.

Don't see it if you want a fully serious presentation of the events portrayed. Some difficulty with voice projection especially when facing away fr audience

During previews
Insufferable, Insipid, Relevant, Great acting, Clever

See it if Celebrated 39th nonagenerian(hopefully centenarian) humanitarian, southern charmer, conservationist, equality-defender, and moral compass...

Don't see it if ...deserves better than this whipping-boy gender-flipped ERA-linked feminine hygiene "better early than late" product subplot travesty.

Also "I can't tell them what's not true/Make sure there's room for the woma... Read more Read less

During previews
Semi-interesting history "what if?", Didactic, Slow

See it if Want to think a bit about what might have transpired behind scenes in Carter's presidency. A moral leader at the cusp of societal change.

Don't see it if Talky, uneven acting, earnest but clunky staging, some weird portrayals, contrived premise. But still, there's some stuff to ponder & like.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if If you are interested in political history. It represents an important time in our history.

Don't see it if If you are not a history buff and finds slow moving plays difficult to sit through

During previews
Insipid, Preachy, Disappointing, Indulgent, Boring

See it if you want a weird interpretation of Carter mixed up with lectures on climate change.

Don't see it if you prefer shows that are there to entertain rather than preach.

During previews
Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a play lamenting lost opportunities and trying to celebrate what may have been the last President motivated by "morality".

Don't see it if you want a coherent argument in a political play with a clear direction

Also For those of us old enough to remember the Carter Administration, it i... Read more Read less

During previews
Relevant, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Strongly & effective drama on politics & global warming during Carter administration

Don't see it if You does like the topic of politics and decision makers.

During previews
Slow, Plodding, Relevant, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if you want quite interesting premise (looking back on intersections of policy, power, & gender) in prepping Pres. Carter's "malaise" speech.

Don't see it if you want strong execution of fascinating history moment. Awkwardly directed/staged, with hit-or-miss performances. Makes for slow 1hr,50min.

During previews
Relevant, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you like historical & political fiction, feminist theatre.

Don't see it if you don't like feminist plays and/or political theatre.

Also I actually think this would have worked better without the gender swit... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Quirky, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Flipping great idea- really good cast- fun gender swap with main characters-- centered around Jimmy Carter's pivotal malaise​ speech.

Don't see it if Sentimental and trite ending, I wish it was more bittersweet, reflecting​ the actual speech.

Also I saw it the first night of previews and I imagine things will smooth ... Read more Read less

During previews
Indulgent, Slow, Disappointing

See it if You sit Really close to the front, the actors talk to the wall & it’s hard to hear The gender/ race mixup is gratuitous and not explored

Don't see it if You want an insightful exploration of Carter’s speech / politics of the era. It has Lots of talk No drama

November 24th, 2019
"Political plots can be dry as toast. Hatem attempts to spice things up by crossing the genders of the actors playing Carter and young Cynthia; the convention is an interesting choice although it really doesn't add any new light to the characters or story and is sometimes distracting."
read more
November 22nd, 2019
Score: 78% "It was a crossroads that ended up being a road not taken that we are suffering from today."
read more

Related content

Cast & Creatives (2)