Long Island in New York is essentially an elongated sand bar that extends horizontally below Connecticut, from Brooklyn, part of which is said to consist of granite, to Montauk, which is famous for commercial and sports fishing. The east side of Long Island, such as Southampton, is famous as a summer vacation site for the celebrities. The town center of Southampton is a small but fashionable place where interesting or cute stores as well as a few restaurants congregate. Since it is a town full of wealthy people it can support an admission-free art museum that exhibits the works of local (Long Island) artists. It’s a nice place to visit and invites many tourists.
Sag Harbor is a village, not so far away from Southampton town center. However, we had never visited the place before mostly because we did not know much about the village. This time my husband, his sister, and I visited the place. As we strolled along the village center we came upon a little theater called Bay Street Theater. Its foyer was packed with people. And a person was calling out to announce the start of the final show of Five Presidents whose performance was extended several times before. Curious, we visited the box office and found out that there were several tickets still available. Then, we made an impromptu decision to see the play Five Presidents which was written by Rick Cleveland, a writer who wrote some scripts for The West Wing and House of Card. The Bay Street Theater is small theater that can probably house about 300 hundred audience. We sat on the left side in the front row, and waited for the play to begin.
The play’s premise was the imagined interactions among the five presidents (President Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton) who gathered at the funeral of Richard Nixon. The dialogues, a mixture of banter, irony, bickering, and confession, were mostly based on the fairly well known “facts” about these presidents with occasional jokes about politicians and particular presidents. It was funny to see these people belonging in this “exclusive club” freely exhibit individualized human pettiness and weaknesses. In this sense, the play was gossipy. But, it was also sympathetic to all these politicians, showing their humanities, for instance, over the painful decisions that ultimately resulted in some Americans’ deaths.
On the whole, the quick-paced play with its efficient stage design was enjoyable and energizing. I also thought the actors did very good job communicating the quirks and personalities of individual presidents.