Bernadette Robinson really is a “vocaliste extraordinaire” (as the blurb says). In MTC’s Pennsylvania Avenue, her rendition of songs (albeit in some cases only as fragments) through the eras of US presidents from JFK to Bush senior really is very impressive and provides the basis for a standing ovation (by some in the audience) at the end.
That said, the dialogue and “gossip” about the goings-on in the White House from the perspective of the “entertainment department” is rendered in a shrill, Georgia accent, and is amusing enough but it’s all fictional, of course. The video screens forming part of the set are great, but otherwise Robinson doesn’t have much scope to demonstrate a presence on stage. She wanders around carrying a box of mementos; it all seems a little forced. Overall, I thought this review was made a number of valid points.
More generally, I am still wondering why MTC feels the need to have two one-woman shows at almost the same time (the other being I’ll Eat You Last). True, it is perhaps interesting to compare them, both being American and looking back on the character’s career although the method of presentation is quite different.
Note – the image on the flyer (at left) bears hardly any resemblance to Robinson as she appears as Harper Clements on stage!