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Hillary Clinton Got me Pregnant

a Monologue
CATEGORY :
by Megan Gogerty

COMPANY : Synchronicity Performance Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 3588

SHOWING : November 05, 2009 - November 22, 2009

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Gogerty, an Iowa-based actor, playwright and social observer, begins her hilarious semi-autobiographical tale waiting in line at a Hillary Clinton book signing. It progresses from there, tracking her hopeful liberal self as she journeys from the uncertainty of post-9/11 America, through the Bush years and motherhood, to the giddy Tomorrowland of Barack Obama’s election as our 44th president. Funny, witty and insightful, Gogerty will make you laugh so much you won’t even know your brain also has been engaged. We’re thrilled to welcome Megan back to Atlanta. You might know her from her hilarious, gender-bending one-act Rumple Schmumple, at Dad’s Garage in 2003; her musical Love Jerry, a finalist in the first Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition at the Alliance Theatre in 2005 and subsequently produced at Actor’s Express in 2006; or her participation in SheWRITES, Synchronicity’s national playwriting festival in 2005. Visit www.megangogerty.com.


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REVIEWS

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Getting to Know Megan
by Dedalus
Friday, November 20, 2009
4.0
Please Note: This review first appeared on AtlantaTheatreBuzz.Com

For two hours, playwright Megan Gogerty talks to us about politics and motherhood in this autobiographical monologue. She shows herself to be a vivacious and charming performer, and the show goes down as easily as a warm cocoa on a chilly night. I just wish Ms. Gogerty’s piece told us more about, well, about Megan Gogerty.

Oh, to be sure, we learn a lot about her politics (and, to be perfectly honest, they pretty much align with my own). The piece is structured by her interactions with politics from 2003 through the 2008 elections, an often self-deprecating “insider’s view” of the roller-coaster ride that is 21st-century liberalism. But we get little else. Oh, we do learn about her JFK-obsessed mother, and we get a nice late-in-the-play rumination on her pregnancy and the birth of her son, but even that is filtered through a political lens.

To be blunt, this piece left me with the impression that Ms. Gogerty’s life is nothing but politics. I was charmed by her energetic presentation, and really wanted “to get to know her.” I wanted much more than I was given! We get nary a word about her life as an actress and playwright, nary a word about her life as a teacher, nothing at all about her husband, nothing at all about her between-theatre-gigs jobs, nothing at all about her friends. And the entire thing, as Dorothy Parker once quipped, runs the emotional gamut from A to B. Charming as her presentation is, Ms. Gogerty never lets us really see inside her, never lets down her snarky emotional defense wall for a glimpse of a heartbeat or a fear or a tear.

Perhaps my expectations were overwhelmed by how good her “Love Jerry” was, how that play peeled layers of complexity in a never-ending onion of emotion. That play established her as a voice to be reckoned with, a writer with her fingers right on the pulse of how people live and breathe. And, to be sure, in a piece about politics, why was there nothing at all about the political firestorm that came after that production?

In contrast, "HCGMP" comes across as just an amusing series of blogs about politics.

To be sure, there are some piquant observations sprinkled throughout. I liked her reaction to the David Brooks comment about “Democrats are like your Mother and Republicans are like your Father.” She, of course, takes a Kiplingesque “Female of the Species” approach – “NOBODY better mess with the Mama Bear!” I liked her observation that Obama’s “come from nowhere” 2008 campaign should have been what Hillary Clinton did in 2004 – that its very boldness bespoke a leadership that Ms. Clinton’s “dithering” 2008 entry into the race sorely lacked. And I liked her observation that newborn children cannot love (at first), coupled with her surprise and delight when that connection was finally made with her own son.

On the other hand, left totally unsaid is any joke behind the title of the piece. First she’s a rabid Hillary supporter, then she switches to Obama, then she gets pregnant – where was the connection with Hillary Clinton making her pregnant? It’s a funny, attention-grabbing title. But, by ignoring its comedic potential, it comes across as merely glib. That fact that she doesn’t talk about her husband at all only underscores this lapse.

Another question on the theatricality of this piece is, could it be performed by anyone other than Ms. Gogerty herself? I’m inclined to say no. Since the “back-story” is paper-thin and the motivations non-existent, it’s Ms. Gogerty herself who provides the thin emotional “through-line,” who makes the time spent with her pleasant and worthwhile. Another actress would have to create all this out of, well, out of nothing, and the character-based shortcomings would only be emphasized.

So, should you see this piece? Definitely, if you’re a democrat. I suspect Ms. Gogerty is charming enough to make the piece palatable for those who do not agree with her politics, and the late-in-show transition to thoughts about motherhood will leave you with a pleasant after-taste. But, it’s difficult for me to say for sure. I suspect, even those who don’t agree with the politics, will agree that this piece will leave you wanting to get to know Megan Gogerty a lot more than she lets us.

What? You wonder why I spend almost 700 words criticizing a play, but still grade it a high 4-star “B?” You think that’s dithering?

Of course it’s dithering. I am a democrat, after all.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)


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