‘The Trump Card’ has more up its sleeve than one-liners

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Arizona Republic


Just to be clear, Stray Cat Theatre founder Ron May isn’t playing Donald Trump for 90 minutes in “The Trump Card” – although he does do an amusing impression involving a pair of tiny plastic hands. Instead, the character he is playing is that of Mike Daisey, the monologue artist who created the piece and originally performed it, complete with self-deprecating first-person ruminations. And this is a little bit weird, adding an extra layer to the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief. But the writing and May’s delivery are both excellent: funny, provocative and ultimately depressing, at least if you buy into Daisey’s analysis of the Trump phenomenon. He started researching before anyone could have imagined that the onetime reality-TV host would become a legit contender for the White House, so — happily enough — this isn’t an extended “Saturday Night Live” election sketch. Instead, it delves into Trump’s childhood with a domineering father and traces his evolution from real-estate tycoon to branding genius whose many products included a Trump board game that Daisey describes as “Monopoly for dogs.” Obviously, this is an anti-Trump piece, but it is not simple partisan hackery. And May-as-Daisey reserves plenty of scorn for clueless liberals and diagnoses Trumpism as something more than just another bubbling over of America’s populist id.