Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe

The Outsider
The Adobe Theater
Review by Carole C. Sullivan

Also see Dean's recent review of Kinky Boots

Tim Reardon, Yannig Morin, Lianne Walk,
and Nicholas Johnson

Photo by Rhonda Sigler-Ware
Paul Slade Smith's The Outsider has enjoyed success at many theatre companies across the United States since it premiered in June of 2015. It is a modern American political satire that has broad appeal. The farce shows stereotypical political characters in a laugh out loud situation. It's a fast-paced comedy send-up of politicians, political pollsters, and the political media.

The Adobe Theater has mounted an appealing and hilarious version of this play. Their space accommodates the one-set governor's office well, and the cast size is appropriate to the intimate space of the Adobe. Director Nancy Sellin has assembled a talented cast to romp through the action.

Number-cruncher Ned Newly is a complete unknown with a paralyzing fear of public speaking and no political instincts–he certainly does not want to be governor. But when his boss is caught in a sex scandal, Ned is catapulted into the public eye. With the threat of a special election just days away, his team of consultants attempt to give him a political makeover. His long-suffering chief of staff employs a pollster to help his image. A nationally known political operative, sensing a diamond in the rough with Ned, joins the team. And, against all reason, a temporary receptionist brings a fresh face of authenticity to the campaign All the elements collide.

Under all the mishaps and misunderstandings, the play asks questions about what is necessary for democracy to thrive. Does running a government take any factual knowledge and skill? Does an average person with love of country have what it takes to administer the complicated facets of governing? Is the modern media machine too cynical and myopic?

Tim Reardon as the hapless Ned Newly is appropriately befuddled but brings an accountant's sense of getting the job done. Lianne Walk as the feminist pollster Paige Caldwell and Nicholas Johnson as Chief of Staff Dave Riley knock heads and try to stay on track. Clair Gardner as local TV personality Rachel Parsons eventually brings a sense of reason to the shenanigans.

Standouts in the cast are Kristine Padilla as Louise Peakes, the know-nothing receptionist who almost stops the show with her very funny, over the top portrayal. But special kudos go to Yannig Morin, a last-minute replacement in the role of high-powered political operative Arthur Vance. He braved an "all in" performance with book in hand and was very convincing. Jason Godin as stoic camera operator A.C. is appropriately droll. It is a fine ensemble cast, and their timing works well together.

The Adobe Theater has a long history of doing comedy and especially farce well. They have done it again!

The Outsider runs through June 23, 2024, at The Adobe Theater, 9813 4th Street NW, Albuquerque NM. Performances are Thursday 6/20 at 7:30pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 7:30pm and 6/15 at 2:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm. General Admission: $24.00, Discount Admission $20.00, Students $15.00. For tickets and information, please visit

Directed by Nancy Sellin, Set Designed by Gloria Goodman, Lighting Designed by Lapis Kesselring, Costumes designed by Jason Godin and Tanya Micheletti. Cast: Lianne Walk, Nicholas Johnson, Kristine Padilla, Tim Reardon, Yannig Morin, Clair Gardner, Jason Godin, and Justin Goodman(understudy).