Metropolitan Playhouse presents this 1945 political drama that asks: how can you win a campaign if the candidate insists on saying what he means? More…
The party needs an independent thinker, but not one with a mind of his own. Grant Matthews could be the Republicans' savior. A Democrat has held the White House four terms running, but this dynamic industrial tycoon has the charisma and populist instincts to woo a broad swathe of the voting public. With the help of his lover, a driven newspaper magnate, the party leaders convince him to take a speaking tour of the country to test the waters. The catch? For appearance's sake, he must take along his wife, Mary. But as the tour goes on, the politicians realize they didn't reckon with either her honesty or his principles, let alone the chance they might still love each other.
"Uncannily fresh, 'State of the Union' is filled with crisp dialogue, witty banter, slithering irony and thoughtful perspectives before detonating in a delectably enjoyable third act...'State of the Union' is a long three act play which requires a little patience as it simmers until its grand payoff...This selection is particularly inspired and should become a play revived at least by regional theaters everywhere." Full Review
“A revival of the 1945 play...The timing is perfect...This behind-the-scenes look at the political contrivances employed to attract votes from each block is powerful. One of the most rewarding aspects of Metropolitan Playhouse productions is the ephiphianic promise. In ‘State of the Union’, the playwrights have succeeded beautifully. After seeing the self-and-party-serving contortions, one craves some honest revelation...The cast is well-rounded.” Full Review
"Is the play dated? Yes, but entertainingly so...As good as the drama is, it needs an able cast to breathe life into the script. Fortunately, the 19 actors assembled here are up to the task...The production values come without razzamatazz here, but that's fine...Directed by Laura Livingston, this no-frills production enjoys good timing. 'State of the Union' isn't a hard-headed expose of a presidential campaign. But it sure gives you a taste of the hustle and bustle of American politics." Full Review
“Invariably, the play evokes comparisons with the current political environment...The script may periodically show its age, but kudos once again to the marvelous Metropolitan Playhouse for mounting a revival of a rarely produced play...Livingston has drawn fine performances...If the government could work as efficiently and cohesively as this small company, the state of the union would be in excellent shape indeed.” Full Review
"Consistent with other Broadway comedies of its era, 'State of the Union' has an enormous amount of exposition before things really get going. The exposition’s interesting enough, the initial action is engaging, and the dialogue is sprightly throughout...What a boon that the Metropolitan Playhouse has figured out how to stage this almost-forgotten comedy on a shoestring." Full Review
"The play, even with the sting taken out of its tail by its lack of topical tang, and given a necessarily low-budget, less-than-sterling revival, remains interesting…On paper, much of the humor shows promise, but, in…Livingston's lively but comically flat production, the laughs come few and far between…The acting ranges from sprightly to serviceable to mediocre to better luck next time…Hard to endorse for any but political junkies and cognoscenti in search of lost Broadway treasures." Full Review
"It doesn't take very long to understand that what at first appears to be a wisecracking political comedy has a heart of purest mush. This sentimentality is so nakedly apparent possibly because much of its humor has the quality of yellowed newsprint...A play like ‘State of the Union’ can, arguably, work if it gets the right care and feeding, but in this case...Livingston, hasn't succeeded in assembling a cast well-enough versed in slick high-comedy style." Full Review
See it if Fne performances (esp Durkin, Sell and Kuriloff), expert, fast paced direction,smart,witty dialogue.Sets & costumes excellent. Feminist bent
Don't see it if Like many older plays, this 3 act is long. Especially long first half drags a bit. And it's pretty much all politics with a touch of humor.
See it if See it if you want to see a large, superb cast perform an amusing play that resonates today. For some it may be a history lesson.
Don't see it if Avoid it if you hate politics and don’t have two and a half hours to spend in a theatre.
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