The real-life story of the grandson of a freed slave who served as the Chief Butler at the White House for Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower.
by James Still
Starring celebrated screen actor Clarence Gilyard
When Alonzo Fields accepted a job as a butler at the White House in 1931, his plan was to work there for the winter. That winter lasted 21 years. Based on the real-life story of the grandson of a freed slave who grew up in an all-black town in southern Indiana, Fields is forced by the Depression to give up his dreams of becoming an opera singer and accept the job at the White House where he quickly was appointed Chief Butler and served four U.S. presidents and their families: Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Famous guests through the years included Winston Churchhill, Marian Anderson, Errol Flynn and the king and queen of England. As Fields says in the play: “It was like being in the front row and watching the passing parade of history. Set on the eve of his last day on the job, Fields reflects on his 21 years of service to his country with humor and pride. He was a man with a story to tell and this tour-de-force for one actor gives Fields the chance to tell it. Culled from Fields’ private papers, diaries and interviews, Looking Over the President’s Shoulder has played at major theaters across the country including Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
” … Still frames the story with Fields sitting on a bench opposite the White House, drinking in the view one final time while waitingfor the bus that will take him to retirement. You won’t want him to go.” – Chicago Theatre Beat
“In its subtle avoidance of antagonism it favors being a character study rather than a morality play. Still demonstrates how tolerance develops into understanding; how the history many of us prefer to view as having a continuous upward momentum has regularly suffered from interruption and turbulence.” – New City Chicago
Adults – $25
Veterans and Students w/ ID – $20
Children 6-12 – $15
Discounts available for groups of 12 or more.
Package discounts available.
Tickets on sale now. Tickets also available at door.
2021/07/07 - 2021/07/31
Additional time info:
Pre-show discussions begin 30 minutes before curtain at the west end of the theater lobby.