Sometimes the conversation seems completely, chillingly, real; sometimes it’s hilariously unreal.Pete Hickok’s set includes Obama’s rug into which was woven Martin Luther King’s quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Trump wants a sign on his Oval Office desk that reads, “The buck starts here.” That’s how the balance between these two starts out. They discuss pretty much everything we’d imagine: gun control, health care, tweeting, fast food inside the White House, real estate and Elizabeth Warren.
Sure, the piece feels like a long comedy sketch. His facial features may more resemble those of George W. Bush, but Murphy has captured the breathing patterns, facial expressions and hand gestures of Trump.Joshua Wolf Coleman portrays Obama, perfectly matching our former president’s vocal quality, speech cadences and physical tics. But that sketch is well-rendered by all involved.Under Lee Costello’s direction, the comedy stays out of the danger zone of ludicrousness, even when the situation doesn’t.Harry S. Murphy plays Donald Trump, yes under a wig of thick, golden, carefully tended hair.
But these performances are not just Vegas impressions. Though onstage infrequently, he displays crisp comedic timing and a few looks that could kill — but don’t, because no one involved is suborning a homicide. Really.But Richmond is in the leadership position here, and he gives us something we might not expect.He starts with audios of Obama calling Trump “unfit” and Trump calling Obama “a disaster.” And then we see the two as they’re now obligated to graciously come face to face in the Oval Office — starting with Trump’s oft-mocked handshake. They get to the crux of these men, particularly Coleman, as Obama finds his world and ours turned on end.Trevor Alkazian portrays a presidential aide.
Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. ★★★When: 8 p.m. Sunday (dark today), through April 16.Where: Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles.Length: 85 mins., no intermission.Suitability: Teens and adults.Tickets: $25.Information: 323-960-4418, www.plays411.com/transition.
In it, Richmond imagines what was said at that historic meeting, and his version is probably as close to the real-life goings-on as we’ll get in the near future. To borrow from a previous administration, this much is known known.What’s not known, and won’t be known until the lure of a tell-all book is too much for one of them to resist, is what they revealed to each other as they interacted there, just the two of them, in the presumably wiretap-free Oval Office.Right now, though, we have Ray Richmond’s world premiere comedy “Transition,” at West Hollywood’s Lounge Theatre through April 16. 10, 2016, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump met for nearly 90 minutes at the White House. By Dany MargoliesOn Nov.