Reviews for POTUS are In…

Suzy Nakamura, Lilli Cooper, Julie White, Julianne Hough and Lea DeLaria in “POTUS.” Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Lacking polish or subtlety, the hilariously frenetic POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive stars an exemplary cast of women given the stage to each do what they do best. Critics complain that the production is sometimes a bit too wild and nonsensical, and that the show probably could have used the extra few weeks of rehearsal originally planned to fine-tune some comedic moments; but those looking for R-rated over-the-top fun will laugh their a**es off.

New York Times Review of POTUS

[T]he snappy and intermittently hilarious farce that opened on Wednesday…is gleefully filthy. … The point of the satire, so perfectly sharp in the initial confrontations — with White and Nakamura making a terrific comedy team — begins to dull as the emphasis shifts from verbal to physical humor. That physical humor is not always expertly rendered. (Dratch does it wonderfully, but the fight choreography is unconvincing.) And the turntable set (by Beowulf Boritt) that efficiently rotates the early action from room to room, like a White House Lazy Susan, seems by the second act to be spinning of its own accord, signifying hysteria but not giving us much chance to absorb it. (The sitcom bright lighting is by Sonoyo Nishikawa.) As the women move from cleaning up men’s messes to making messes of their own, you may feel some of the air, or perhaps the milk, leaking out of the comedy. … As a farce, “POTUS” still plays by old and almost definitionally male rules; farce is built on tropes of domination and violence. On the other hand, and more happily, “POTUS” lets us experience the double-bind of exceptional women unmediated by the men who depend on their complicity.

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TimeOut Review of POTUS

The White House setting is an excuse for a broad, zany, old-school comedy, which is a rarity on Broadway nowadays—especially in the form of a world premiere by a twentysomething woman. You can feel how hungry the spectators are to laugh together, and they get to do it often in this silly, fast-paced lark. It helps enormously that the production, directed by Susan Stroman (The Producers), is so well-cast. This ensemble makes an implicit argument of its own for female accomplishment: Even when their characters are floundering hopelessly, these ladies are pros. … But POTUS works overall: It just wants to be funny, and it is, and that’s a pleasure. Today’s body politic is riddled with sores. I can’t say for certain that laughter is the best medicine for that, but it sure is a welcome palliative. 

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Deadline Review of POTUS

Like some strange brew blend of VEEPNoises Off and one of the late Charles Ludlam’s outrageously vulgar (and still sorely missed) Ridiculous Theatrical Company follies, Selina Fillinger’s all-female, star-packed political satire POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive is an occasionally glorious mess of a farce, sometimes chaotically funny and other times as what-were-they-thinking?? goofy as the last segment of a Saturday Night Live episode. 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.

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New York Post Review of POTUS

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. … At first the romp is engaging, lifted by a truly brilliant cast of comedic actors who embrace and explode the qualities that made them famous. Then, in Act 2, the set-ups become so unwieldy and ludicrous that it turns into an episode of “Hoarders: Broadway Edition.” Somebody needed to come in with gloves and a garbage bag and do some major decluttering. … What will appeal to some of about Fillinger’s play — but what also holds it back — is that it’s cranked up to about an 11 from the second the lights go up. … At just two 45-minute acts, though, it’s a fun night out. “POTUS” would just go down a lot smoother with one of Dusty’s 80-proof slushies.

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