POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive Reviews
The New York Times- Somewhat Recommended
"...“POTUS” is in fact an encyclopedia of enabling, a natural field guide to the various poses that women who subcontract their souls get into. The classic cases are Harriet, the president’s beleaguered chief of staff, and Jean, his constantly blindsided press secretary. What Jean (Suzy Nakamura) tells Harriet (Julie White) applies to them both: “You stand in for him every single day, you’ve done it for years. You clean up his messes, you make excuses, you do his job, and then you wake up and do it all over again.”"
NY Daily News- Recommended
"...The premise of the knockabout piece, directed with manic but crafty intensity by Susan Stroman, is that the White House is kept afloat by a bevy of weird but individually gifted crisis counselors, all spinning like tops in a hapless attempt to get ahead of a POTUS so out of control, they all fear for democracy itself."
Hollywood Reporter- Somewhat Recommended
"...Trudging toward its end, POTUS takes an earnest turn. It remains cosmetically absurdist, but its bite is dulled. The women become more sympathetic, moving the comedy away from its original intent. Is POTUS still a farce or something else all together? The playwright Michael Frayn's thoughts on the genre come to mind: "Farce is a brutally difficult form [....] In laughing at it you have lost your moral dignity, and you don't like to admit it afterwards - you don't like to concede the power of the people who have reduced you to such behavior.""
New York Theater- Somewhat Recommended
"...There are enough moments in "POTUS" that I could select to make the case that the play is both funny and pointed, but just as many (more, to be honest) to demonstrate how off-putting and puerile it is."
Variety- Highly Recommended
"...I am woman, hear me roar - with laughter, at "POTUS: or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive," playwright Selina Fillinger's delicious feminist farce about the all-female staff that keeps the country out of war and other sticky situations while babysitting the dullard who holds the highest office in our beleaguered land. Playing characters largely unknown to the public within the world of the play are actors Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura, Julie White and Vanessa Williams. Director Susan Stroman's ensemble is a bona-fide dream team."
New York Post- Somewhat Recommended
"...If "The West Wing" was made into a live stage show, banned all men and snorted a line of coke before the curtain went up, it might look something like "POTUS," the hyperactive new farce that opened Wednesday on Broadway."
Entertainment Weekly- Highly Recommended
"...POTUS, or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive is a rare thing on Broadway - a new play by a 27-year-old newcomer, Selina Fillinger, that opened without any major out of town try-outs or workshops. You'd never know it from the well-oiled laugh riot that officially opened on May 1."
Washington Post- Highly Recommended
"...The next best thing to "Veep" has arrived on Broadway, a profane West Wing comic strip of a play in which a septet of hyper-caffeinated actresses let their funny flags fly. This seven-alarm comedy goes by the demure name of "POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive." And really, the title is a lie."
Time Out New York- Recommended
"...POTUS begins with a four-letter c-word, and that word isn't can't. The running joke of Selina Fillinger's lightly feminist political farce-which bears the annotational subtitle Or, Behind Every Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive-is that the women who populate it are all highly capable in different ways, yet they're stuck in the orbit of an incompetent and morally bankrupt oaf who is the world's most powerful man. Why aren't they in charge instead? Well: "That's the eternal question, isn't it?" as two characters ruefully ask. (Maybe Hillary Clinton has an answer.)"
The Wrap- Recommended
"...Hough also manages to entertain. It's refreshing to see a character break through the glass ceiling of political correctness with such determination. Maybe only a female director and a female playwright would have the courage to feature a pregnant character vomit repeatedly, then perform (offstage) fellatio on a couple of Secret Service men, who turn out to be disabled war veterans (one blind, the other an amputee), before performing cartwheels and the splits on stage. As a critic, I live to write sentences like that."
"...If POTUS, directed by Susan Stroman and opening today at Broadway's Shubert Theatre, never quite rises to the level of those three influences - not as darkly clever as VEEP, as lightning quick as Noises Off nor as go-for-deliriously-broke as Ludlam - POTUS barrels through its weaker stretches on the contagious enthusiasm and in-it-together vivacity of a crowd-pleasing cast."
"...Were it not for Stroman and her cast, POTUS would not work nearly as well as it does - honestly, I don't think it would work at all. Never have I seen an ensemble do so much with so little, and they really come through to save the day."
TheaterScene.net- Not Recommended
"...What you have to remember about POTUS, Or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive is that it labels itself as farce, the sort of play with doors slamming, people hiding in closets and sudden surprise entrances. Unfortunately, five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman has specialized in choreography and musical theater which is an entirely different set of skills. Don’t blame the seven famous actresses who inhabit the fictional White House of this new work by playwright Selina Fillinger in her first Broadway outing: in Stroman’s frenetic direction the play isn’t very funny even though it tries hard to amuse. The line that gets the biggest reaction is the statement that “affordable, safe reproductive health care is a basic human right,” one of the few statements not meant to be taken as a joke."
NY Theatre Guide- Recommended
"...There's a moment in the new Broadway play POTUS that made me cackle so loud, I surprised myself. It's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment. It occurs as the revolving set for POTUS is turning to a new scene in a woman's restroom. There's a tampon dispenser, and as the lights are still down, you can see the price for tampons: $2.79. Oof. The pink tax weighs heavy on the women of the play, both literally and figuratively. If only the rest of POTUS was as subtle or as smart."
Stage Buddy- Recommended
"...In reality, much of the action in POTUS is somewhat predictable, but it does give the comedians and Hough (who sings and dances) a chance to strut their stuff. The comedy offers a perfect example of a farce, complete with inane behavior, horseplay and absurd situations. They say behind every successful man is a woman, and POTUS features seven."
Theater Pizzazz- Highly Recommended
"...Each element participates in gilding the humor, but, for all the mild pleasure POTUS provides, I'd vote for it more for the two minutes of unrelated applause it invited than for how much laughter it provoked."
"...On another note to leave you with, in these days of alternate truths and facts and alternate universes, such an event might not be so improbable. As an alternative, it can't be any worse than what we went through in the past few years with the previous administration. Sit back and enjoy an alternative reality, written and directed by women and acted by a very funny all-star ensemble of smart and sassy women."
"...Prior to viewing, I wondered if I would spend any time thinking about exactly which "POTUS" this show is about. Who's the man at the center of it all? Ultimately, it didn't even cross my mind. Even with the politics and optics of the administration, I was too wrapped up in the depth of each woman and the dynamic between all of the characters. Getting fired, feeling phased out, navigating relationships-these moments stand out within a spectacle and create a well-rounded piece worth taking out-of-town family to."
New York Stage Review- Recommended
"...For now, we’re sticking with the first act, which takes place in the White House and has Chief of Staff Harriet (Julie White) cannonading the initial expletive to inner circle and equally expletive-outfitted staff member Jean (Suzy Nakamura). They’re discombobulated because foul-mouthed POTUS has unleashed the word Harriet is repeating—or a version of it—in front of a few visiting dignitaries. Harriet and Jean need to clean things up before their chief executive-with-no-language-filter addresses a women’s group later in the day."