Wednesday, May 20, 2015


To say that Edith Bolling Wilson was a woman ahead 
of her time is an  understatement.  To many she came to
 be called the First Woman President, long before 
Hillary Rodham Clinton threw her chapeau in the political 
arena.  For Edith, a lady of determination and clear intelligent
 view points, became “The Second Mrs. Wilson”and is the 
fascinating subject of a world premiere play by Joe DiPietro 
being inaugurated on the main stage of New Haven’s Long 
Wharf Theatre until Sunday, May 31.

President Woodrow Wilson, brought to charismatic life by 
John Glover, becomes immediately smitten when he meets 
the lovely and opinionated widow, Edith Galt, portrayed with
style and grace by Margaret Colin. A recent widower himself, 
he falls under her spell, much to the dismay of his executive
 entourage that includes his press secretary Joe Tumulty 
(Fred Applegate), his trusted advisor Colonel Edward House 
(Harry Groenier), his vice president Thomas Marshall 
(Steve Routman) and even his personal physician
 Dr. Grayson (Stephen Barker Turner).

Edith, however, knows how to charm.  While previously 
uninterested in politics, her new relationship awakens in her 
an active pursuit of affairs of state.  Woodrow, for his part, 
seeks her advice and opinions and involves her more and
 more in the everyday White House concerns.  The threat 
of America’s entrance into World War I, the war to end all 
wars, leads her to become his personal consultant,
sharing state secrets and even accompanying him to Europe.

With astute intuition, Edith changes the role of the First Lady 
dramatically.  Not a social partygoer, she concentrated on 
more serious matters, discerning the men who were not 
working to help her husband succeed, like Senator
 Henry Cabot Lodge (Nick Wyman).

When Woodrow has a stroke, Edith comes into her own, 
shielding him from the pressing problems of the presidency, 
by making decisions for him.  With great personal resolve 
and strength, Edith Wilson assumes the burden of the office,
 working behind the scenes to get Woodrow’s Treaty of 
Versailles signed to end the war and to create his valuable
 League of Nations.

Joe DiPietro has fashioned a truly brilliant piece of history, 
one that shines a spotlight on a unique role of a President 
and his First Lady. This stellar cast paints a portrait of a 
time and a place and the people who lived in its drama.  
Gordon Edelstein has directed a fascinating picture that 
is sure to engage the audience with its humor and 
humanity, on an inviting and stately set by Alexander Dodge.

For tickets ($25-75), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent
 Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at  Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m.,
 Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday at 8 p.m., 
Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and
 Sunday at 2 p.m.

At a time when politics were clearly a man’s realm and 
when the Twenty Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, 
dealing with the succession of the vice president to the 
office of president due to the disability of the head of state, 
was almost fifty years in the future, Edith Wilson took 
charge of her husband’s health and of the country’s 
well-being and steered our ship through a multitude of 
storms.  Come hear why and how from the captain 

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