Hillary Clinton has been a familiar face in Broadway audiences, where she is regularly greeted with huge applause. Now she's coming to the stage—or at least, an alternate-universe version of her is.
The bold producer Scott Rudin announced today that Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, multiple Tony Award and Emmy Award winners both, will star this spring in the Broadway premiere of Lucas Hnath's Hillary and Clinton, directed by Joe Mantello (Three Tall Women). The production reunites Metcalf with the producer and playwright of 2017's marvelous A Doll's House, Part 2.
Don't expect a rehash of the 2016 election debacle, though. Hillary and Clinton is set during the 2008 primary race for the Democratic nomination, and its dramatization of its main characters departs liberally from history. The play premiered in Chicago two years ago (in a different production whose eccentric staging and nontraditional casting elicited mixed reactions).
Last season was an unusually thin one for new plays, especially in the spring, when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was the only game in town. The 2018-19 season, however, is shaping up to be a doozy, as Hnath's play joins a docket that already includes promising new works by Aaron Sorkin (To Kill a Mockingbird), Jez Butterworth (The Ferryman) and Taylor Mac (Gary). So there is very good reason to hope for the best!
But high expectations and strong qualifications do not guarantee success, of course. Just ask Hillary Clinton.