“The Outsider” Theater Review

International City Theatre of Long Beach knocks it out of the park yet again with another home run!

Their current offering as part of their 2024 theatrical season is “The Outsider”, a hysterically funny take on a most unlikely candidate running for office.

As the Bard once intoned in “The Twelfth Night” “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”, couldn’t be more true as “The Outsider runs the gamut from political commentary to slapstick comedy…..definitely two ends of the theatrical spectrum but under the expert talents of director Brian Schnipper, it absolutely works.

Paul Slade Smith’s keenly insightful play skewers the media push in “electable or not” and how sometimes the most unqualified people rise to the top.

This show is so good in its blocking, cast and scenario that it’s right out of classic television comedic skit shows like “The Carol Burnett Show”; razor sharp dialogue delivered by the cream of the crop in actors that truly understand comedy.

International City Theatre Production of “The Outsider” in Long Beach, CA

Leading the charge in propelling the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor forward are Natalie Storrs as Paige Caldwell, Nikhil Pai  as Dave Riley and Jonathan Bray as Arthur Vance. Their reasons for what drives them are personal gain, career advancement and the impractical idealism of doing what’s right. Each of this trio brings so much to their respective roles from expert timing and broad, physical comedy that it’s difficult to take your eyes off of any of them, they’re that good at moving things forward in seeming effortlessness. Bravo!

International City Theatre Production of “The Outsider” in Long Beach, CA

Stephen Rockwell  as Ned Newly and Susan Huckle as Louise Peakes are the unlikely politicians; one absolutely perfect to do the actual running of the state’s budget while not being a “people person” and the other is completely clueless but sparkles and shines as the face of the party. Both are wonderful but it’s Susan Huckle who practically steals the show as Louise Peakes. Kudos!

Rounding out the ensemble are Taylor Papoola  as Rachel Parsons and Thomas Anawalt as A.C. Petersen. As the TV journalist team, both are wise to the political game and their place within that rat race. While performing as they should in the context of their jobs, both have a real sense of right and wrong and how they justify their means to an end in the scope of that. Well done!

International City Theatre Production of “The Outsider” in Long Beach, CA

It’s rare that a show can be called “perfect” but ICT Artistic Director caryn desai has chosen an excellent showcase of her production team to have earned it in every regard!

Highly recommended!!!!!!

Runs June 20th to June 30th, 2024

International City Theatre

330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 436-4610   ict@ictlongbeach.org

Bryan Moore

About Bryan Moore

Theatrical connoisseur, colorful raconteur of some note, sartorial gentleman about town. Coffee's for closers. Fortune favors the bold.
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