John Lithgow has played plenty of creeps. So he’s a natural as Bill. And Laurie Metcalf can certainly be annoying.
But that doesn’t really explain why this is a thing. Or why it exists.
Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, both two-time Tony Award winners, will team up on Broadway to play the power couple who have been a prominent part of the American political landscape for the past quarter-century in Hillary and Clinton.
The play by Lucas Hnath is a four-hander set in New Hampshire during the 2008 Democratic primaries, as Hillary Rodham Clinton, her chief strategist Mark J. Penn and her husband Bill Clinton butt heads over whether bringing in the former president will be a liability or an asset in HRC’s troubled campaign to secure the nomination for a White House run. Her opponent, Barack Obama, is the play’s unnamed fourth character, referred to only as “The Other Guy.”
“Lucas’ play is that rare kind of blow-the-door-off-its-hinges new work that I will always respond to and want to present,” Rudin told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a political play — but not in the way I think anybody will expect. It treats the Clintons like Shakespeare treated real people in his history plays — it is both fundamentally truthful and also wildly imaginative. It’s not in any way a docudrama or a work of nonfiction but rather an exploration of power and how it works, not only in the canvas of a political campaign but inside an enduring marriage.
I hope there’s lots of shoe throwing.
But it really does show two things.
1. Broadway is desperate for gimmicks
2. The Clintons are still a marketable commodity in Dem circles. The rest of the country has been sick of them for a while. Even most Democrats are sick of them. But in the blue bubbles where the power elites reside, the Clintons still retain an enduring appeal.