MADNESS OF KING DONALD – THE REVIEWS, in English
VOLKSKRANT: 4 STARS ‘Greg Shapiro Is the Perfect Person to Give the Netherlands Trump Lessons.’
THEATERKRANT: CRITICS CHOICE ‘A Welcome Trump Tutorial and Survival Guide’
1eRANG.nl: ‘Witty, Original and Surprising Show.’
marvelousz.com: ‘The Madness of King Donald is an Absolute Must.’
DAGBLAD VAN HET NOORDEN: ‘Sharp, thorough and merciless.’
HET PAROOL: ‘There is no shortage of Trump imitators, but Shapiro goes far beyond imitating a voice or physical gestures – he even creeps into Trump’s head. Shapiro can, on the basis of a word or question, expand into a completely realistic tirade. it no longer has any meaning, but it works enormously well for generating laughs.’
VOLKSKRANT – FOUR STARS
‘Greg Shapiro Is the Perfect Person to Give the Netherlands Trump Lessons’
Joris Henquet, 18 February 2019
Shapiro not only knows Trump’s how to talk like Trump (as he proved on Zondag with Lubach), but he also masters Trump’s hand gestures and his incoherent way of formulating a sentence.
Greg Shapiro has exactly the right qualifications to make a comedy show about President Donald Trump for a Dutch audience. Shapiro (50) is an American who left from Chicago in 1994 to play at Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago theater. That’s where he developed a good Trump imitation, which went viral worldwide in the the ‘Netherlands Second’ video from TV program Zondag with Lubach.
Shapiro now kicks off a Dutch theater tour with an English-language show, in which he gives a Trump tutorial. A ‘survival guide to the collective madness we’ve been living through tor the last two years.’ With his presidential suit and too-long red tie, Shapiro stands before a large screen on which he projects news photos and satirical images.
The evening is creatively broken up into parts. Shapiro presents a five-point tutorial on how to better understand how Trump communicates. About Trump’s accent: ‘He uses the typical words of a New Yorker, but he talks like a surfer from California. Exactly the two states where has no chance of getting elected.’ Shapiro later presents the State of the Union speech as a bingo game – as well as giving a press conference as Trump, with a witty improvisation for every random question.
Shapiro does not put on a wig, but can still change convincingly into Trump: not only his diction, but also his hand gestures and the incoherent way he formulates his sentences.
However depressing the actual news may be, the good-natured Shapiro continues to look for the ‘bright side’: we have survived Trump for two years already, surely we can survive another two.
‘The Madness of King Donald’ by Greg Shapiro. Director: Michael Diederich. 12/2, Griffioen Cultural Center, Amstelveen. Tour to 7/4.
THEATERKRANT – CRITIC’S CHOICE. “TRUMP TUTORIAL AND A WELCOME SURVIVAL GUIDE.”
Patrick van den Hanenberg, February 13 2019
For protesters, comedians, critical tv stations, photo shoppers, cartoonists and visual artists with common sense, playtime officially kicked off more than two years ago with the Donald Trump era. A playtime with a crazy babysitter, but still quite nice.
Before the American (and now partly Dutch) comedian Greg Shapiro enters the stage, the audience is entertained with a series of memes & artworks that flash by on the big screen. What an incredible explosion of creativity, and often very witty. And that is probably the best way to get through this jet-black page in American politics. Laugh, laugh and laugh again and then hope that the American voter will at one point be ashamed of this dismal political display, which he himself has caused. Greg Shapiro has in any case made a strong show out of that political misery.
Yes, it is hoped that the American electorate will see that the United States has utterly ridiculed itself under the 45th President. But that is by no means certain, because – when we look at Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet in our own country – we see that certain diseases turn out to be global and aren’t going away anytime soon. After Shapiro cited a remark from an American hothead that instructed the Native Americans to “go back to their own country,” we see a wildly scrawled cry on a Dutch wall: “Turks go back to Morocco.”
Humor is a form of ducking ones head until the madness is over, because fleeing this political mess is no longer possible. Quite calmly, Shapiro asserts that we have survived with Trump for two years already, so it must also be possible to endure his antics for two years more.
Unlike most stand-up comedians and cabaretiers in the Netherlands, Shapiro was not done talking after an hour and a half. His amazement, bewilderment and anger at what has happened over the past two years is so great that he made a truly “evening-filling” program from The Madness of King Donald, with intermission. For a moment you fear the worst, because it’s normally more than enough for a comedian to keep rattling on for 90 minutes. But Shapiro has arranged his show, which is directed by Michael Diederich, in an extremely smart and varied way.
Shapiro lets us reminisce about the video “Netherlands Second” of the Arjen Lubach team, in which the Netherlands presents itself in Trumpian superlatives. The fantastic video, which has now been viewed almost 12 million times worldwide, was recorded by Greg Shapiro with his Trump voice.
And then Shapiro gets to work, playing the role of a cheerful expert and asking the most important question: how is it possible that this man won the election? The Madness of King Donald is both a survival guide and a Trump Tutorial. At first Shapiro asks quite analytically if it’s possible Trump – with his seemingly idiotic ideas – is actually a misunderstood genius. Just think how the idea of the first-ever submarine was received. Or a vaccine which prevents polio by injecting people with polio, or Columbus who departs to his destination in the completely opposite direction. Columbus Day is now a national holiday in the US.
Very accurately, Shapiro – with script coach Edo Berger – analyzes Trumps facial expression, analyzes the accent (‘a New Yorker with a California accent, who could never get elected in either state’), his incoherent ‘word salad’ language (‘a carcrash in slow motion’), his body language and his apparently secret language, with which he stirs up America’s fear of becoming a ‘minority white’ country.
Along the way, Shapiro also practices the improvisational art of his old Amsterdam group, comedy group Boom Chicago. He asks the audience to name a household item (in this case a toaster), of which he manages to make a great, messy, half racist speech, without a single complete sentence.
A press conference, Trump’s silly-macho way of shaking hands, an alternative anthem, a round of bingo with the audience, you’re never bored with Shapiro.
After the break, Shapiro is pleasantly personal when he describes his meeting with the arch-conservative and pathological liar Pete Hoekstra, the American ambassador of Dutch descent in The Hague. Shapiro admits he cowardly avoided confrontation. That is a shame, because then – unlike in Dutch theaters – Shapiro would not have been preaching to his own choir.
Very nice is Shapiro’s comparison of the family situation at his childhood home in the US with current political situation – where his aggressive stepfather is Trump and his six-year-old sister very unexpectedly plays the role of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.
This reviewer relies on a daily YouTube viewing of American late-night comedy, such as ‘A Closer Look’ – a reliably anti-Trump segment from Late Night with Seth Meyers (a former colleague of Shapiro of Boom Chicago). This show by Greg Shapiro is a very welcome addition.
1eRANG.nl FOUR STARS
WITTY, ORIGINAL AND SURPRISING SHOW
Greg Shapiro is the best Trump impersonator in the world, and he does not even look like him! Had a great night, laughed at those crazy Americans and the craziest, by far, or them all: the Donald.
The show is fast, witty, original and surprising. Shapiro is a comedian storyteller who still can not quite comprehend the madness of the 45th president of America himself. And of course he also (very snarkily) comments on the crazy Dutch.
Afterwards make selfies with Greg himself and buy his latest book, with dedication and signature from Shapiro himself. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
THE MADNESS OF KING DONALD IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST
Mister Fake President
In The Madness of King Donald, Greg Shapiro (alias Mister Fake President) places the 45th – and possibly final – president of the United States under a magnifying glass. He puts Trump in the spotlight and analyzes him to the bone. No, America did not get the very first female president, but the first-ever president who is clearly mentally ill. That is at least the approach of this evening full of stand-up comedy, cabaret and improvisation. A press conference offers the audience the opportunity to ask questions to ‘the president’ (who dares ?!), a game of Trump bingo is played, and a hilarious alternative anthem is sung.
Laughing, Yelling, Roaring
Laughing, yelling and roaring is perhaps the best thing we can do for this ‘mistake’ in the history of political America. And Greg is laughing at us with his brilliant imitation of The Donald; the famous (and awkward) Donald handshake, the typical language use (the so-called ‘Word Salad’) and his accent (a New Yorker who talks like a Californian surf dude). Greg’s analysis of this president-who-would-be-king is particularly striking, and The Madness of King Donald is an absolute must.
Also laugh at (fake) Trump?
The Madness of King Donald (mostly in English) takes about 2 hours (including pause) and can still be seen in various theaters in the Netherlands until 7 April (an overview of all performance dates can be found on Greg’s website). Tickets cost around € 20.
After the performance you will find Greg in the lobby where he personally sells his book How to be Dutch (and signs!) And / or makes a selfie with you.