While "The Parisian Woman" is set in the present, it feels awfully old-fashioned, Written by Beau Willimon, famed for creating the House Of Cards series, the play, despite all the current political references, is something of a throwback to the stilted dramas of the past, long before Trump became a household word.
Uma Thurman, making her Broadway debut, plays Chloe, a much softer version of Robin Wright's steely political wife in "House Of Cards". She's married to Tom, an ambitious Washington tax attorney who's got his eye on a high-powered judgeship; and though he has no real experience, he's hoping President Trump will appoint him. And just like the Underwoods from the series, the childless Chloe and Tom have an open marriage. That of course leads to sexual intrigue and power plays which drive the plot.
Along the way we meet a savvy White House insider; and a veteran Republican player tapped to become the next Fed Chair. Blair Brown is terrific as the conservative politico who slyly maneuvered her way to the top of the Washington food chain. Phillipa Soo is her liberal-minded daughter with ambitions and secrets of her own.
Everyone plays their part well enough but the characters have a cliched scent to them and despite the contemporary spin, there's a sense that we've seen it all before. Given the rather clunky exposition, the 90 minute play, tidily directed, by Pam McKinnon still feels long.
The entire production has an under-developed quality, even Thurman's Chloe seems half-baked. It's almost as if this is a show pilot that needs subsequent episodes to flesh it all out.
It's easy to be cynical about Washington politics. The hard part is making it compelling. "House of Cards" did it in spades with a stable of irresistible villains. Unfortunately, "The Parisian Woman" is neither villainous nor irresistible enough to make us care one way or the other.