44 Plays for 44 Presidents: Fast-Paced Historical Play, Just in Time for Election Season
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The last date listed for 44 Plays for 44 Presidents was Saturday October 20, 2012 / 8:00pm.
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Leonard Bernstein on music, Stephen Sondheim for lyrics, Jerome Robbins doing choreography and… More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Arturo Crespo
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The message from this play is simple: your vote matters. More than a historical play, this is a lesson on civics. Throughout the play, the actors stress the importance of the office of the President and the voters that put him there. It's not a coincidence that there voter registration forms are available at the exit of the theater.
Some people may be worry that the show will end as a history lesson. Don't worry about this. You don't need to be an expert on presidential trivia to fully enjoy it. Said that, a basic knowledge of American history is required. What I can say, is that you will leave the theater knowing more about the US presidents than when you came in. I enjoy knowing that sex scandals, corruption, and partisanism are nothing new in American politics.
The script goes fast through each President (going through 44 presidencies in 2 hours leaves just a couple of minutes for each), going fast through the uninteresting ones, and slower through the more significant. Each play is very different, some of them hilarious, some of them serious, some of them very emotional. My favorites were Cleveland, Chester A. Arthur and Richard Nixon.
Now, the weakest part of the play is the acting. To be fair to the 4 actors, this is an extraordinary hard play. Each vignette last just 2 minutes and it's hard for the actors to connect with the audience. When this happens, it's genius. But sometimes it doesn't and the jokes become soft and the sketch drags on.
Should you go? Yes! It's not the best show in town, but it's entertaining, educational, and may inspire a civic spirit that you thought you didn't have. And if you are one of those that say that you are not planning to vote "because your vote doesn't matter," then this play is for you.
44 Plays for 44 Presidents is written by members of Chicago’s Neo-Futurists, and in their signature style, is made up of 44 separate plays told in rapid succession. It’s an evening of tragedy and comedy unlike anything we’ve done before!
Director **Kit Wilder is currently in his eighth season as Associate Artistic Director of City Lights Theater Company. Kit is a graduate of Santa Clara University and has received training in London from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Directing credits range from Shakespeare and the classics to Musical Theatre and contemporary drama, and he has appeared with countless Bay Area companies in such roles as Hamlet, Richard III, Mercutio, Petruchio, Athos, Jesus, Judas, Bill Sykes, Henry Higgins, Jerry Lukowski, Dr. Frank’n’furter, and many others. For City Lights, Kit has directed String of Pearls, Wise Women, both parts of Angels in America, A Few Good Men, The Who’s Tommy, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Frank Langella’s Cyrano, and Equus, and his own adaptation of Hamlet. A member of AEA, SAG, and AFTRA, Kit is also an acclaimed fight director, and has penned adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After, and several original short plays.
Cast – **Ken Boswell __(August: Osage County) William Davidovich (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Equus)__ Karen DeHart (Dead Man Walking, Distracted), RuthE Stein __(Nine)
Designers – **Ron Gasparnetti (Scenic), Kimberly Johnson (Props), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting) George Psarras (Sound and Original Music) Hector Zavala (Costumes) City Lights and the Plays for Presidents festival is working with Rock the Vote to encourage voter registration – voter registration forms are available at every performance! City Lights recognizes its donors, without whom this production would not be possible. 44 Plays for 44 Presidents is supported as a part of City Lights 2012-2013 Season by Arts Council Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and by the contributions of many generous individuals.
About the Ticket Supplier: City Lights Theater Company
The City Lights Theater Company (CLTC) is San Jose’s Off-Broadway theatre company and presents adventurous live stage productions in an intimate flexible environment. CLTC is committed to the community by providing their audiences with affordable, quality theatre and opportunities for local artists.