- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2017

Michael Moore’s one-man Broadway play pointing out the absurdity of Donald Trump’s presidency is being ripped by critics as self-aggrandizing, preachy and monotonous.

New York Times critic Jesse Green, who lauded Mr. Moore’s long career of progressive activism, said the “shaggy and self-aggrandizing” production was like “being stuck at Thanksgiving dinner with a garrulous, self-regarding, time-sucking uncle. Gotta love him — but maybe let’s turn on the television.”

Mr. Moore’s website describes “The Terms of My Surrender,” which opened Thursday at the Belasco Theatre, as a “hilarious satirical tour through the depraved new world we find ourselves in since appointing a madman as the leader of the free world.”

“Featuring razor-sharp insights drawn from Michael’s long history as an activist and high-profile sh*t-stirrer, ongoing translations of each day’s fresh insanity, and any number of nightly surprises, The Terms of My Surrender is a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical experience that will help make sense of how the hell we got into this mess—and how we can get out,” Mr. Moore’s description states.

But critics say the two-hour play, with no intermission, is more like a boastful monologue in front of an audience who likely thinks just like Mr. Moore.

Mr. Green writes, “Audiences hoping for a bit of feel-good liberal therapy, let alone a good show, may be disappointed to find that Mr. Moore isn’t very interested in them. He’s not preaching to the choir: He’s bragging to it.”

Similarly, The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman described the play as “a mix of predictable rabble-rousing and a self-congratulatory lap of the field with a sheen of humblebrag.”

Los Angeles Times critic Charles McNulty, who said he “long admired” Mr. Moore for fighting for the working class over the years, complained that the play consisted of a series of anecdotes, all of which Mr. Moore came out as the hero.

“Every story ends in the glorification of Michael Moore. The lesson he wants us to take home is a noble one: Innocent idealism can only prevail if it holds to what is true and doesn’t succumb to despair,” Mr. McNulty wrote. “But these plucky narratives, largely recycled from his writings and talks, have the monotonous ring of an infomercial for his brand.”

Mr. Moore doesn’t appear to be upset over the negative reviews. He spent Friday morning touting the good ones from outlets such as The Telegraph, Huffington Post and New York Daily News.

“The Terms of My Surrender,” directed by Michael Mayer, runs at the Belasco Theatre through Oct. 22. Mr. Moore said the president has a standing invitation to view the play any time.

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