New York | 1h 25m | Already closed

Laura Bush Killed a Guy

From 15 critic and 10 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Absorbing

About the show

An alternately silly and surreal solo-comedy about Laura Bush that looks to shine light on the intersection of fact and fiction. More…

Laura Bush is an enigma wrapped in another enigma. She’s shy, beautiful, bookish, and in 1963, she blew through a stop sign and killed a guy. It was probably just an accident. Or maybe, just maybe…it was murder. Join Mrs. Bush for this evening of real-life reminiscences: of her childhood in Texas (all lies!), of her marriage to George W. Bush (a sham!), and of their rapid ascent to the very pinnacle of world power (an abomination!).

Front Row Center

“This show is so well written. Hodsoll appears often to be utterly spontaneous and she does deftly improvise a few times in the show because she can — her tool box matches the brilliance of her author’s, especially when responding genuinely to audience reactions in this intimate space — but upon examining the script, I saw that many of the real juicy vulnerable moments I felt penetrate my skin were the result of just damn good writing. You have to see this show.” Full Review


“Hodsoll is phenomenal as former First Lady Laura Bush in Allen’s kaleidoscopic solo play...For 95 mesmerizing minutes, Hodsoll gives a smashing performance that transcends mere impersonation or campy replication. Looking and sounding like Mrs. Bush, with her twinkling eyes and beaming presence, Hodsoll’s characterization is a dazzling amalgam of comedy, emotion and depth...A stimulating presentation on every level...A fascinating and provocative entertainment.” Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"Keenly written...Under John Vreeke’s astutely understated direction, the uncanny Lisa Hodsoll once again stars...Everything about her and her brilliantly-controlled portrayal screams white privilege...The Klunch’s provocative production of 'Laura Bush Killed a Guy' at The Flea will have you laughing out loud, then shaking your head and gritting your teeth at its mock nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ of the Bush years." Full Review

Diandra Reviews it All

"Hodsoll tries to put a wall of southern hospitality to cover Laura’s human fragility. Through every changing story, you meet a new Laura Bush that is charming and interpersonal...This script was made for an actor, which is why Laura Bush cannot be played by just anyone...Hodsoll carries each monologue like an emotional seesaw...Allen, Vreeke, and Hodsoll have revealed that she is way more fascinating or, at least, secretive than you think." Full Review

Connecticut News

"Finds a sweet spot between political satire and one of those evening-with biographical dramas...Allen does a masterful job of shifting from comedy to drama...The playwright and director John Vreeke found an awesome collaborator in actress Lisa Hodsoll, who is able to walk the very fine line between biographical portrait and send-up that is in the script." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A fascinating show, with minimalist materials other than the subject's life story...Directed by John Vreeke, this 85-minute one-woman show reveals sides to Mrs Bush that were rarely glimpsed in the media. She is charming yet snarky, likening circa-1993 Hilary Clinton to Benjamin Franklin, admitting to her love of smoking...Whatever your politics, you will learn a lot about our former FLOTUS, and the hardships and triumphs she has faced." Full Review

New York Theater

"Turns out to be something of a stealth enterprise, generating sympathy for a woman who is presented as more complex than the public perception of her. At its best, Ian Allen’s play challenged me to think about my own political perceptions...There is some politics in 'Laura Bush Killed A Guy,' although little of it persuasive...More convincing are Laura’s sometimes poignant and pointed accounts of the toll that public life takes on any expectation of privacy." Full Review

The New York Times

“Sneakily engaging solo play...A nicely understated Lisa Hodsoll...A big issue is that while Allen brings up several of the events that punctuated the Bush administration...he struggles to connect the private and public spheres. The Bushes are also presented as being pretty much ideology-free, which was not the case...But then deep down 'Laura Bush Killed a Guy' is not a political satire but a romantic comedy about mutual redemption." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“While not as hard-hitting as it could be, this satire about former First Lady Laura Bush features a hilarious script from Ian Allen and an appealing performance from Lisa Hodsoll...Light on political commentary and analysis...Hodsoll is immensely appealing as Laura Bush...Her performance transcends mere satire or impersonation...As the show goes on, it gains momentum...Offers an opportunity to take a break from our current frustrations and laugh at our political past.” Full Review

The Reviews Hub

“Upon entering the theatre...a ‘cowboy cookie’ is offered...The treat feels hefty enough to satisfy. The script is less substantial...Hodsoll keeps a mannerly composure...She is able to work the text despite a confused audience...The evening reads like a casual, long-form magazine piece to help sell her book...Light racism speckles the script, passing for humor...However you feel about Laura Bush, your views will not be challenged.” Full Review


"Although she looks more like a young Cokie Roberts than Laura Bush, Hodsoll eerily conjures the political wife poise and Southern sweetness of the first lady we never really knew...Allen seems to want to say something about the blurry line between fact and fiction, and how lies twist and multiply in the kaleidoscope of the Internet. Unfortunately, it never expresses a particularly clear perspective on that phenomenon...Most damningly, this comedy is just not that funny." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

for a previous production "A darkly hilarious, and at times deeply touching, imagining of the private woman behind the public figure of the former First Lady...The script fluctuates seamlessly, and to great comic effect, between the definitely true, the absolutely fictional, and the well, to be honest, I don’t know if it’s true or not...With a spot-on Southern accent, graceful poise, and a commanding presence, Hodsoll convincingly embodies both the public Mrs. Bush we know and Allen’s sassier fictional version." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

for a previous production "And, as portrayed by Lisa Hodsoll, this Laura Bush should not be missed. She’s funny, she’s demented, she’s deeply devoted, and she’s downright sympathetic...As directed by John Vreeke, 'Laura Bush Killed a Guy' mysteriously transforms the rather mysterious, invisible Laura Bush, first, into a murderer of a young, high school sweetheart who had cheated on her with a friend before, finally, turning her into a First Lady we can all respect and admire. Don’t ask me how." Full Review


for a previous production "A fuller picture of the reticent former First Lady appears, as a teen in Midland who liked to drink and smoke but also read...Allen's manuscript, full of blackout scenes, could be tightened a bit. He's managed to find a lot of entertaining Bush family stories to share, including the origins of their nicknames. And one certainly gets a fuller picture of Laura Bush than one ever got willingly from her...Hodsoll is a wonder throughout, though - smiling and incisive and shedding a tear at 9/11." Full Review

The Washington Post

for a previous production "While some portions of this one-woman show register as delectably wicked satire, other parts are more naturalistic and wistful in tone, making for a concoction that’s less choice pastry than uneasy stew...The play obviously intends to disorient audiences and blur the line between fact and fiction, but it doesn’t accomplish these goals in a revelatory manner. Still, Hodsoll’s performance is to relish." Full Review

Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You need a good time, funny, poignant, memorable

Don't see it if You’re in such a morass over our current White House residents that even a great performance couldn’t help.

Intelligent, Great staging, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You don’t mind being reminded of just how horrid W’s reign of terror really was. Behind every awful man there’s usually an awful woman.

Don't see it if You just can’t take anymore politics. This is clever and a charming way of looking at where we are now but it still makes you look at now.

Intelligent, Great acting, Funny

See it if you would like to know more about Laura Bush, like dark comedy and very subtle satire. An amazing performance.

Don't see it if if you want a cartoonish SNL-like sketch comedy version of Laura Bush. This is very smart and cynical.

Also This is an unusual show that walks a fine line between bio play, satir... Read more Read less

Relevant, Great acting, Funny, Delightful, Clever

See it if you need a good laugh (or several). You want to see a GREAT performance by Lisa Hodsoll.

Don't see it if you are offended by the lambasting of politics/a former first lady and president.

Resonant, Clever, Slow, Funny, Great acting

See it if Quirky deconstruction of the Laura Bush enigma Black humor mixes w/poignant insights Hodsell funny & droll as Laura. Oh......and that murder

Don't see it if Deconstruction takes getting used to as does time travel motif but Hodsell is able guide Drama turns into a paean to love & commitment A gem

Slow, Quirky, Funny

See it if you are interested in Laura Bush or are just up for a kinda weird night that will make you laugh and feel odd about caring about Laura Bush

Don't see it if you have a very small attention span, if you aren't a bit adventurous and up for something interesting, unexpected, and bizarre.

Why a play about laura bush? though fine impersonation in 1-person show, focus on her involvement in killing doesn't add much

See it if 3 different alts why car accident/killing took place/shows how history's malleable; good picture '60s Texas ; LB’s cookies 4 audience, yum!

Don't see it if not link killing 2 LB’s identity; LB so restrained, disinterested in inner life limits dramatic possibilities; nothing new on "W"/presidency

Needed editing, Good acting

See it if you want to support repertory theater, their playwrights , & actors

Don't see it if Not feeling well

Also I think my physical discomfort clouded my judgement of this effort

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Intimate setting..very funny, poignant and entertaining performance. Free tasty chocolate cookies.

Don't see it if You do not like large comfortable seats. Probably 30 folding chairs in a semi circle.

During previews
Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You get the most delicious Cowboy Cookies using Laura Bush’s actual award-winning recipe and they are free! You also get a marvelous actress

Don't see it if You find sitting on hard-seat folding chairs for 85 minutes is close to torture.

Also as Laura Bush, with a great sense of humor telling you her life story ... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (8)