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How to Love a Republican Review - Keep an Eye on the Democrats

By Elaine L. Mura

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This is a perfect play for an election year – especially one that’s been as contentious as the atmosphere in the McCoy household. Tim McCoy (Dan Gilvezan) is a life-long and devoted Republican – and his wife Ruth (Rachel Galper) has been a dedicated and faithful Democrat all her life. Which leaves their daughter Margie (Elizabeth Ellson) right in the middle – and pretty much hating politics of any stripe. How ironic that she suddenly finds herself in the center of a triangle. Her boyfriend Lenny Klein (Adam Mondschein) is running on the Democratic ticket. Her boyfriend Mark Bliss (Matthew Wrather) is hoping to be re-elected on the Republican ticket. Both for the same office. For a woman who eschews politics, Margie has really messed up. And, of course, we know which suiter each parent prefers.

Elizabeth Ellson and Matthew Wrather - Photo by Cydne Moore

Playwright Jerry Mayer has done a bang-up job in this comedy of pointing out some very absurd truths about the world of politics. Can it be that, even when they agree, Republicans and Democrats can’t admit it? Or perhaps they can’t agree on principle?

Adam Mondschein and Elizabeth Ellson - Photo by Cydne Moore

The clever comedy is assisted by some very funny graphics, courtesy of Fritz Davis, on the back wall of the McCoy apartment – with an especially hilarious one which matches half of Clinton’s face with the other half of Trump’s – for one ridiculous composite which will set the audience into an uproar of merriment.

Rachel Galper and Dan Gilvezan - Photo by Cydne Moore

James Cooper’s set design reflects a skilled flair for the quintessential middle class apartment, while his lighting helps pace the goings-on in the play. The Attic Room’s sound and Ashley Hayes’ costumes enhance the production, with Steve Mayer’s original score adding to the fun. By the way, Steve Mayer is author Jerry Mayer’s son, so he can’t complain about the long hours and low pay. And let’s not forget the talented director Chris DeCarlo, who has created more than 300 roles and directed nearly twice that number of productions on three continents. He bring all his skill to this hilarious comedy.

Elizabeth Ellson and Rachel Galper - Photo by Cydne Moore

HOW TO LOVE A REPUBLICAN offers an entertaining evening, and its timely gaffes will keep the audience laughing from beginning to end. This is not a play for those who want depth and finely drawn characterizations, but it will please and entertain audiences with its timeliness, light touch, and highly amusing lines and situations. It just happens to be the ideal play for the season.

Elizabeth Ellson, Adam Mondschein, and Dan Gilvezan - Photo by Cydne Moore

HOW TO LOVE A REPUBLICAN runs through December 18, 2016, with performance at 7 p.m. on Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays. The Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA. Tickets are $19.50 with group rates available. For information and reservations, call 310-394-9779 or go online.

Published on Nov 07, 2016

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