The Outsider Review – Political Farce

Robert May & Adam Daniel - photo by Ken JAaques
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By Kathy Carpenter

Adam Daniel, John Nutten and Robert May – photo by Ken Jasques

Can you explain Government?

Do you understand the government? Scripp’s Ranch Theatre Presents “The Outsider” a timely and hilarious comedy skewering politics and celebrating democracy. Written by Paul Slade Smith, The Outsider is laugh-out-loud-funny. Your seatmates will have no doubt you are enjoying the show. It is Satire at its best. Timely delivered with clever and witty dialogue, it is situational hilarity. Director Christopher Williams couldn’t have asked for a better cast.

Deborah Dodaro & John Nutten – Photo by Ken Jacques

This play is the story of fictional new Governor Ned Newly who explains government in its simplest form at one point in the show, the basics, so most people can understand why we need the government.

The story is much more. When the current governor is caught fooling around with a second place beauty contestant, he is forced out of office with his entire staff because they hid the truth. Ned Newly, is the Lieutenant Governor, who takes over, and this is his first day in office.

Adam Daniel & Robert May photo by Ken Jaques

The chief of staff is beside himself, not knowing exactly how to handle Ned. Newly went on television to accept the position, and stood mesmerized like a deer in the headlights, for five minutes, shaking like a leaf and silent. After the show, in anticipation of a special election, the chief of staff hires a professional pollster he has worked with before. Their styles didn’t mesh but he knows she can get the work done. He also hires a temp to run the reception area, but she can not do her job.

Robert May – Michelle Marie Trester -Leigh Akin – photo by Ken Jacques

Ned is overwhelmed. He has been the one doing all the work, but the governor has taken the credit. Everyone thinks the Lieutenant governor is a name only position. After his television appearance everyone thinks Ned is a simpleton, one everyone loves, including Arthur Vance, a well-known political consultant.

Vance has been behind several of the recent presidents. He is about to retire. But then he sees Ned Newly, his dream political candidate. Vance has always wanted someone the people can identify with, so he flies in to work with Newly. Vance wants Newly to keep up the simpleton persona. The chief of staff is highly against this tactic. He knows the smart hardworking side of Newly, and feels it is misrepresentation. The pollster is on Vance’s side, and the temp is a ditz. Newly is so introverted and awkward he does as told. All the clashing opinions bring out the funny side of politics, making this a fun show.

Ned Newly, is played by Robert May, who portrays the role of a socially challenged introvert perfectly. The chief of staff, Dave, and my favorite character in the show, is the stressed man behind the governor, and played by the extremely funny Adam Daniel. The brilliant John Nutten, takes on the ultimate political strategist, Arthur Vance. Deborah Doctaro, is Paige, the Pollster, and incredibly talented In the role of Louise, the temp, is the hilarious Michelle Marie Trester. The other two cast members, Rachel Parsons, as a television reporter and Walter Murray as her cameraman, who are equally talented, round out this stellar cast.

Michelle Marie Trester_Robert May_ Leigh Akin – Walter Murray in foreground – photo by Ken Jacques

The story takes place in the present. In the governor’s office of a small state, the decor of the office setting, is highly polished upscale political elegance. The setting is done extremely well.

This show is for everyone who likes to laugh. Bring some joy into your life with a night out at the theatre.

The Outsider

Sept. 16 – Oct. 9, 2022

Scripps Ranch Theatre


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