Transition is a new production written by Ray Richmond and directed by Lee Costello, now playing at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. The play recounts the first meeting of November 10th, 2016 at the Oval Office of the white house between Donald J. Trump and Barak Obama. This brilliant piece imagines what might have transpired between these two men on their first meeting post election. It is a comic exploration based on information about both figures that’s well-researched, plausible and incredibly funny.
Playwright Richmond writes a note in the program that he took “a rare opportunity to envision how the former President might act and react” privately. Obama, as played by Joshua Wolf Coleman, appears to be as the world knows him—civil, intelligent and concerned. Yet there are moments when this mild-mannered exterior cracks under the pressure of dealing with the tweeting President #45, which may be the points of poetic license Richmond refers to. #44 even makes fun of his sucessor’s hands. According to Coleman, the play was revised repeatedly up to the week of their first performances, though it stands now as if carved in stone.
Richmond attempts to depict Trump, played by Harry S. Murphy, as not a caricature, though the reality of the real man makes this rather difficult. It is clear the playwright examined the psychology of 45 and observed Trump’s twitter obsessions and his thin skin when criticized as well as his need to be liked. This play touches on many of the hot topics that occurred following this historic meeting: the electoral college, ‘fake news,’ Isis, Women’s rights, gun control, locker room talk, and of course Trump’s strange remarks about Frederick Douglass. Unfortunately for America, how Trump behaves behind closed doors seems to be well documented by his numerous late-night tweets, and Murphy has done his homework. Trevor Alkazian does a fantastic job of playing Obama’s aide and is used to touch on the contrast in respectability and people skills of the two leading characters, and to demonstrate Trump’s possible bigotry and reality TV experience.
Overall this play is a must-see for anyone wanting a more drama comedic portrayal of President 44 and President 45. There is a special performance also directly after the show by a young Rapper named Dylan who graces the stage with his own musical dedication to the resistance of our time.
Transition, by Ray Richmond
6201 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Runs until Sunday April 16th, 2017
Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.
Sundays, 3:00 p.m.
Dark on March 31, April 1, April 2.
Special benefit performance on March 26, 100 % of ticket sales donated to ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
Running time: Approximately one hour and thirty minutes, with no intermission.
For tickets check on line or call (323) 960-4418