Review: ‘Laura Bush Killed a Guy’ at The Klunch

I didn’t know that Laura Bush had killed a guy. It really had never crossed my mind.

Well, after seeing Ian Allen’s Laura Bush Killed a Guy, now playing at the Klunch at Caos on F Street (according to Klunch means: to really get deeply involved [in] something), that’s all I’ll think about: sweet, demure Laura, a murderer.

Lisa Hodsoll as Laura Bush. Photo by Ryan Smith.

And, as portrayed by Lisa Hodsoll, this Laura Bush should not be missed.

She’s funny, she’s demented, she’s deeply devoted, and she’s downright sympathetic; she’s also better than Melania but not better than Michelle or Hillary or even Barbara (her nickname is Bar, which is apparently a name taken from the family horse).

Poor thing.

As directed by John Vreeke, Laura Bush Killed a Guy mysteriously transforms the rather mysterious, invisible Laura Bush, first, into a murderer of a young, high school sweetheart who had cheated on her with a friend before, finally, turning her into a First Lady we can all respect and admire.

Don’t ask me how.

Built around three mini-acts, with multiple vignettes of varying lengths, during which Laura shares her thoughts and feelings on life–humorously, all performed quite wonderfully humorously by Ms. Hodsoll–Allen’s play takes an unassuming, seemingly normal Laura and makes her heroically human: a First Lady who endured the indignation of being average in the eyes of the public.

It’s the case where even the average Joe, or Jane, has enough secrets to turn him or her into a Bonnie or a Clyde.

(Just to make sure, I googled “Laura Bush killed a guy” and it’s true: she did kill a former boyfriend, and the controversy that followed was intense. And the TV show, The Family Guy, did an episode featuring the event.)

Allen entitles his three acts: Perdition, Sedition, Contrition. This was probably unnecessary as the play exists as a funny sort of bio-play without the more cryptic deeper structure.

All you need is an intimate Caos on F Street space, where you can actually see Laura’s eyes sparkle when she tells you she’s a murderer, or when she offers you her award-winning recipe for Cowboy Cookies.

Yes, you will learn Laura Bush’s award-winning recipe for Cowboy Cookies.  And the Klunch might even have a few for you to enjoy at the theatre.

The Laura Bush production team includes Kim Deane (set), David C. Ghatan (lights and projections), Rhonda Key (costume), and Lucas Zarwell (sound).

Running Time: 90 minutes  without an intermission.

Laura Bush Killed a Guy plays through June 4, 2017, at The Klunch performing at Caos on F Street – 923 F Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, buy them at the box office 30 minutes before showtime, or purchase them online.


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