In 2000, political playwright Herman Daniel Farrell III accompanied his father, New York State Democratic Party chairman Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr., to a dinner at the Clinton White House. The experience inspired the scion to write Portrait of a President, which will play this year's New York International Fringe Festival.
In the play, four people are vying for the chance to paint Clinton's official portrait. The candidates are—somewhat improbably—a soccer mom from Cincinnati; a lesbian from Woodstock; an African-American from Memphis; and a Vietnamese-American from Los Angeles. The quartet examine their ideas about what the President symbolizes to the nation, and wade through the morass of Clintonian scandals.
Farrell also wrote the politically-minded Bedfellow, which played the Bat Theatre Company several seasons ago.
The ensemble includes Pun Bhandu, John Daggett, Arthur French, Alice Haining, Anita Hollander, Leslie Lyles, Angel Laketa Moore and Ron Riley. Nancy Jones directs.
Tickets are $12 and may be purchased by calling (212) 420-8877 inside New York, and (888)-fringenyc outside of New York. —By Robert Simonson