By John Moore; Directed by Brian Freeland
Produced by Wild Blindness Productions
Part of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Play
Runs through 8.15.16
VENUE #6: The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street
by Michael Rock on 8.15.16
Brett Aune and Chris Kendall in Waiting for Obama. Photo by John Moore.
BOTTOM LINE: A powerful and timely play about the need for gun control and the paranoia of gun owners who fear losing their weapons.
Few current political issues have become so obviously necessary, yet so hotly debated, as gun control. In Waiting for Obama, John Moore depicts the problem of gun violence in the United States through the lens of the gun-owning Welby family of Colorado Springs in an emotional, but often humorous, light.
The play’s narrator, Benjamin “Benny Bunny” Welby (Luke Sorge), is the youngest member of the family. Portrayed as a 16-year-old, the character actually died at the hands of a drug-addicted gunman at the age of ten months. Benny Bunny's grandfather, the constitutional conservative Hank (Chris Kendall), firmly believes in the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, and fears President Barack Obama (Laurence Curry) will come to take his guns from his home. Benny Bunny's father, a liberal gun owner named Peter (Brett Aune), is traumatized by his son's death and the subsequent death of his wife Katie (Jessica Robblee), and is only able to find solace in his firearm. There is a spirited debate between Hank and President Obama before the drama comes to an explosive conclusion.
The cast is spectacular, and John Moore’s powerful script is further energized by incredible sound design from director Brian Freeland. His use of ominous music, accompanying various gun-related tragedies, and the song “I’m in the Lord’s Army,” provide great touches to this wonderful work. The production design by Luxbomb Tricycle (G. Austin Allen, Stevie Caldarola and Steven J. Deidel) is yet another great addition to the piece. From the acting, to the stage design, to the themes, Waiting for Obama easily earns its place as a Theasy Best Bet.
(Waiting For Obama plays at VENUE #6: The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street, through August 15, 2016. The running time is 1 hour 30 minutes. Performances are Fri 8/12 at 5; Sat 8/13 at 2; Sat 8/13 at 9:15; Sun 8/14 at 8:30; and Mon 8/15 at 6:45. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org.)
Waiting for Obama is by John Moore. Directed by Brian Freeland. Sound Design is by Brian Freeland. Stage Design is by the Luxbomb Tricycle (G. Austin Allen, Stevie Caldarola, and Steven J. Deidel.) Stage Manager is Jonas Whalen.
The cast is Brett Aune, Amelia Marie Corrada, Laurence Curry, Chris Kendall, Leslie O'Carroll, Jessica Robblee and Luke Sorge.