Politics, an election, religion, Twitter—with so many current trending topics, how could #mormoninchief not be interesting? In fear of burying the lead, I will tell you now that regrettably, it was not. Given the smoothness of the script, I don’t think the author of the book, Matthew Greene, wrote a bad play, nor was the execution faulty. In fact, the three-man show featuring Karis Danish, Nicole Rodenburg, and leading with Jesse Liebman, ran efficiently, and the actors professionally played out their characters.
But in the end, I wondered why I was watching #mormoninchief. The premise of the story proved intriguing: An everyday Mormon named Connor Jorgensen, played by Liebman, started a Twitter feed and wrote a line exulting something his brother in the church said. That brother happened to also be running for president, and, given the quickness of the Internet, Jorgensen’s tweet spread like a wild fire and angered the candidate. He had no idea this happened until a crackerjack reporter named Lydia Strout, played by Rodenburg, burst into his life with questions not only about the tweet, but about Jorgensen’s place in life.
Not bad, eh? Unfortunately, this plot never really panned out, and instead, the viewers watched as they circled around these subjects and beat them into blind boredom. Halfway through the play I wanted it to be done, and, as my savvy companion pointed out, “Right now 140 characters doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.” Maybe if the show cut their hour-and-a-half time down to 45 minutes or an hour, it would have flowed better. They could have easily nicked the character of Kate Walker, played by Danish, Jorgensen’s friend and the wife of his business partner. She came in screeching about her husband ignoring her and then they talked about some dull personal stuff. Then they did it again, and again. At this point, you may ask, what about the Twitter feed? Well, in the end that idea petered out as not only did Jorgensen not tweet again, but also the actual impact of his one tweet was never fully explained. In the end, this left the show flat and fleeting, instead of something to be tweeting.
Michael Holt Productions
Writer: Matthew Greene
Director: Austin Regan
Connor, an unassuming Mormon, becomes the center of media frenzy when he tweets inflammatory statements inspired by a Mormon presidential candidate. When ambitious blogger Lydia confronts him, Connor is forced to choose between living by faith or living by fact.
1h 30m Local Manhattan, New York
Staycation: Ripped from the Headlines In Someone Else’s Shoes
VENUE #07: The Kraine Theater
Sat 11 @ 6 Tue 14 @ 4:45 Sat 18 @ 12 Sun 19 @ 7 Wed 22 @ 2:30