Five Presidents – Wit Theater, Chicago- There was only one day in history when all five of these U.S. Presidents were in the same room at the same time: the holding room prior to entering the memorial service for President Richard Nixon. What’s left are the five living presidents, former and current, coping with that fact in April 1994. Cleveland’s premise is simple: get Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton alone in a room together and see what happens.
Q-tips say: Yes, see it. Five Presidents is remarkable, humorous, and honest play. It brings them all up close and personal and shows them to be exactly what they were: flawed but honorable and decent people. In an era when loud insults are flung across the aisle daily in both directions and in which it is difficult to imagine even the somewhat strained civility that the play demonstrates, it serves as a reminder that such things once were possible, and a prayer that they will be again. It will be impossible to walk away from “Five Presidents” without both a greater understanding of the challenges that come with the high office.