The War Party

By Andrew Andrews

Alone in the war room after a crushing defeat, Jessie (Odelia Avadi) explains to Laura Smith (Jennifer Piech) what went wrong with the latter’s senatorial campaign. Original photo by Martha Granger Photography.

“You used to care for each other. You simply stopped.”
FDR, The War Party

Laura Smith just lost the senate race because she refused to sling mud.

She refused to play the “dead daughter” card.

She refused to let her hair down.


Jessie tried all she could to help the cause, working outreach (AKA telemarketing). But it wasn’t enough: Smith received less than thirty percent of the vote.

Now they’re alone together in Smith’s war room, at what was supposed to be the victory celebration.

Alone except for Smith’s “inappropriate hallucination” of Franklin Delano Roosevelt—a politician with whom she has very little in common.

Jessie (Odelia Avadi) and Roosevelt (William Youmans) have different ideas about what Smith (Jennifer Piech) should do next: Jessie wants her to lay low for a while before throwing her hat into the ring for the governor’s race; Roosevelt wants her to throw in the towel.

Director Don Stephenson squeezes as much energy out of these three talented actors as the space can hold, and playwright Vincent Delaney’s message that this is “not a country with a future” and that “both parties are absolute trash” is one that both liberals and conservatives desperately need to hear, in an era when fake news and social media are polarizing everyone to an extreme we haven’t seen since the Civil War.

United we stand, divided we fall.

If you were lucky enough to score tickets (yes, it’s sold out!), head down to the FringeHUB and be the first in line at the appropriately-colored flag. You’ll want to be one of the first people into the makeshift theater to grab a chair in the first row, as neither the stage nor seating is raised, and there’s a lot of neck-stretching in the back!

After the show, come back and tell us what you think of Laura Smith’s failed campaign and its aftermath.

Whether you agree with her decision to take the high road or believe she should have joined her opponent slinging mud, your reviews can help others decide whether The War Party is worth attending, and your ratings help us help you find future Fringe and off-Fringe performances you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended The War Party at FringeHUB in Manhattan on Sunday, October 14, 2018 @ 4:00pm to write this review.