Lincolnesque is a look back at a man and a time and a look at the here and now, when the high-minded words and ethics—integrity, honor— of the 16th President are seen as an innovative take on politicking. The script is funny, full of long runs of dialogue barbed with truths that catch your breath and make you chuckle. It’s also accurate to the bone about D.C.—represented as a series of columns and pillars covered in old newsprint—and updated with a few allusions to the current President. Lincolnesque was written over a decade ago by local playwright John Strand, proving that the insidiousness of politics isn’t a new illness.
[Brandon] McCoy is a brilliant, loveable Francis. Slightly mischievous and rarely rattled, wearing Lincoln’s words (and a coat with tails) with ease. Also whip smart and kind, illness or not, even when offering his couch to the bum. [Michael] Innocenti is an excellent foil to this—his Leo is uptight, cautious, controlled. Almost snivelly. It’s not that he’s unlikable. He’s just unnoticeable, something Carla makes clear. [Susan Marie] Rhea is pitch-prefect as the aggressive, calculated campaign manager who, having danced with mental illness closely, calls Francis out on his. And [Stan] Shulman, doing double duty, swings effortlessly from the powerless to all-powerful.
Lincolnesque has already proven itself timeless. And this run seems as timely as ever.