Jan 29, 2024

Geffen Playhouse: ‘POTUS’ Review

POTUS has landed at the Geffen Playhouse and it might be the best play they have ever had there.

Image: Celeste Den, Ito Aghayere, Shannon Cochran, Jane Levy, and Deirdre Lovejoy in the Geffen Playhouse production of POTUS 
(© Jeff Lorch)

We know that it’s a tall order to say something is the best ever, but this play is witty, fast paced, and jam packed with fantastic artistic direction, acting and directing. And, that isn’t even touching on the writing which is top notch. The play is an absolute riot. We’d describe the excellent writing as high brow satirical criticism, while maintaining a veneer of bi-partisanism that our own government could really take notes on. With a logline like “Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive,” you already know you’ve signed up for a gem. Some of the jokes hit really close to home as women, and even though we were laughing we also wanted to cry. But, we’d say that is the mark of fantastic writing. The play is incredibly well cast. Whoever put these actors together really needs a raise. The comedy was written by Selina Fillinger who had just had enough of politics after Trump won the election and it set her to writing what we now know as POTUS.

Power suits dominate the stage as we meet each of the women who keep the show running behind the scenes. POTUS mocks the chaos of a White House where its leader is a misogynistic, uncaring, promiscuous idiot who only thrives because of the women in the background who hold him up. Though we never meet the President, the staff and assorted visitors who carry out their roles are as volatile and vicious as the man they cover for. The playwright Fillinger has a good sense of building suspense, while peeling back the veneer of lies we all feel constantly fed on a daily basis. Are we complicit in our own subjugation? It’s a valid question you’ll find yourself digesting as you walk out of the show. Even though it’s a funny play, at its heart it’s a very adept and wicked observation of women’s complicity in allowing men to treat us as less-than. How many “Boss Bitch” playlists will we listen to without taking action?

Geffen Playhouse has extended POTUS through February 25. Grab your tickets now, this is one show you won’t want to miss this year!