The Outsider – Theatrical Premiere

With uncanny timing, “The Outsider” has opened at North Coast Repertory Theatre. The clever story of an astute lieutenant governor who finds himself elevated to the governor’s office is well-acted by an accomplished cast.

David Ellenstein directs Louis Lotorto (Arthur), Max Macke (A.C.), John Seibert (Ned), Natalie Storrs (Rachel), Jacque Wilke (Louise), Christopher M. Williams (Dave) and Shana Wride (Paige).

L-R Shana Wride, Christopher M. Williams, Louis Lotorto, John Seibert & Jacque Wilke – photo by Aaron Rumley

Ned prefers to hide behind his desk and get the job done, but upon being sworn in as the new governor, his bumbling public demeanor seems like an efficient torpedo to his political career. Dave is Ned’s chief of staff, and tries valiantly to rescue the disaster waiting to happen. In comes Paige, an ace at focus group research, and Arthur, the TV pundit who has counselled an array of US Presidents. The polls indicate the public likes the mumbling, fumbling governor so perhaps not all is lost. Injected into the mix is the hapless Louise, soon somehow joining the governor’s staff. Louise is even more incompetent, but is heartily embraced by the public. Journalist Rachel and her cameraman A.C. provide both the window and mirror.

A very funny, well-acted, non-partisan production, perfectly timed for our primary season. 

Neither political party nor location are mentioned in the play, letting the viewer disassociate himself from the world outside. But the message at the end of the evening is nonetheless optimistic and realistic.

The comedy is well-timed and delivered with aplomb by the cast. Each actor fleshes out his character in delightful fashion. Ellenstein keeps the production on the rails. All the action takes place in the governor’s office (hats off to resident set designer Marty Burnett).

Christopher M. Williams, Jacque Wilke & John Seibert – photo by Aaron Rumley

Max Macke & John Seibert – photo by Aaron Rumley

Paul Slade Smith’s script is a model of comedic stage play. The production has already been extended, and it is understandable why. This is a delightful respite from the slings and arrows of the current campaign trail.

Ticket information available here.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.