I absolutely loved The Parisian Woman! The show doesn’t have a lot of buzz or presence even within the city, despite its’ star being Uma Thurman.
I love political commentary (admittedley though, only when it has a liberal/progressive message). The play follows people on both sides of the political spectrum and oddly enough, exploits that politics is all an internally manipulated game.
Thurman plays Chloe, a ‘closet’ liberal socialite, married to Tom, a is up for a position in Trump’s cabinet, but is *spoiler* having an affair with Peter. Tom knows this. And Chloe knows that he knows. Because their marriage is full of affairs in order to help themselves or the other get a leg up. In this case, Peter is nothing more than a whisper in Trump’s ear, ironically, to help Tom get the position.
The story was actually fascinating. It was not entirely predictable (especially a major twist a little over halfway through), and it highlighted things about Washington that everyone knows but nobody thinks about. It’s all a game. Democrats and Republicans are enemies on the National stage, but everyone goes to the same parties, everyone knows everyone, they all mingle and spend time together, but it’s also highlighted what a lonely life it is. Everything you do, every interaction you have, someone is angling to get something from you. Everything is a transaction, a business deal. And what is it for?
What I really loved about it was that right until Peter’s outburst at the very end, they didn’t mention Trump’s name once, referring to him as ‘the President’ or ‘this President.’ Another thing that I loved was that both the Democrats AND Republican characters all referred to him with scornful dismissal, all knowing that he could be bought, persuaded, and forced to sway. None of them loyal to him, but all wanting to be close to him so they could push their own agendas. It reminded me of ‘Fire and Fury,’ a book that details how none of the people close to Trump believe in his ability to lead.
The cast was very strong. Uma Thurman has a captivating way of holding attention. She’s breathless and very twitchy, nothing but intent. And all at once, her character takes a sharp turn in another direction and you can’t help but be behind her the whole time. Phillipa Soo was fantastic, and I remember reading an interview where she doubted her ability in a non-musical setting, but she really held her own. Her role wasn’t particularly dynamic but she did do really well. Josh Lucas and Martin Csokas both turned in strong and calculated performances, both with the necessary airs of a politician, and Blair Brown was a spitfire with tons of energy and killer reactions.
Show closes March 11th! Don’t miss it.