If you’re getting tired of people who can’t seem to let go of the 2016 presidential election, how do you feel about reopening 2008’s political contest? Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow are set to star in a new play called Hillary and Clinton, The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Thursday, and it’s about (you guessed it) one of history’s most powerful dynastic couples, who are of course very much still on the scene. Lucas Hnath, who made his Broadway debut in 2017 with A Doll’s House, Part 2, is writing the show, which will open on Broadway in April of next year, and Joe Mantello (behind this year’s Boys in the Band) will direct.
THR describes Hillary and Clinton as “a four-hander set in New Hampshire during the 2008 Democratic primaries, as Hillary Rodham Clinton, her chief strategist Mark J. Penn, and her husband Bill Clinton butt heads over whether bringing in the former president will be a liability or an asset in HRC’s troubled campaign to secure the nomination for a White House run. Her opponent, Barack Obama, is the play’s unnamed fourth character, referred to only as ‘The Other Guy.’ ” We all know that, unfortunately for Hillary, “The Other Guy” would very much become “The Guy” before the year was over; but Hnath’s script will no doubt delve into the complex gender dynamics, and marital relationship, between the Clintons, which also came to bear on her second unsuccessful presidential run in 2016.
Metcalf starred in A Doll’s House, Part 2, for which she won the Tony for lead actress in a play—Scott Rudin produced both that work and Hillary and Clinton. THR reports that the two plays are “thematic cousins” in their “examination of the knotty complexities and gender dynamics of marriage, touching on the limitations of experience and inevitability in its timely look at an American dynasty in crisis.” According to Rudin, “It’s a political play—but not in the way I think anybody will expect. It treats the Clintons like Shakespeare treated real people in his history plays—it is both fundamentally truthful and also wildly imaginative. It’s not in any way a docudrama or a work of nonfiction but rather an exploration of power and how it works, not only in the canvas of a political campaign but inside an enduring marriage.”