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A satirical-drama in the spirit of Dr. Strangelove. Ruby, a drag queen, saves the world from imminent destruction by Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

4M, 2W


2018 San Francisco Production:

I’ll tell you this about Fisher: if he’s crazy, our theatre needs a lot more mad men like this!

Fisher’s double turn as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin is a wonder to watch; his caricature is uncanny, but he does more than that. In his hands, Trump and Putin have beating human hearts that we can recognize and for which we can feel empathy, even as we recoil in horror.

Especially striking is the portrayal of two marriages: Donald and Melania, Vladimir and Lyudmila. Unexpectedly, each coupling (both played extraordinarily well by Katie Rubin and Fisher) has the ring of authenticity. These are real families, with real feelings,  love, and ambivalence. No performer or writer has done a better job at portraying and satirizing these families, and, in my experience, nobody has done as well.

It would be a disservice to his excellent work not to mention the performance by Gabriel A. Ross in multiple minor roles. Though not called upon to do much in this production, Ross brings his usual polished technique to the task and helps to keep the show moving smoothly.

“Transitions” is brilliant political satire, not to be missed. Fisher shines as playwright, actor, and director. Catch this before it closes, although one hopes fervently that the run will be extended. Indeed, this one deserves an afterlife in New York. I hope a producer is paying attention!


- Charles Kruger –

TRANSITIONS is an SF Chronicle/SFGate Critics Pick



John Fisher Ridicules Our Glorious Leader, with Gusto

In John Fisher’s no-holds-barred political satire “Transitions,” disruption rules the day. Fisher, himself, always the supremely talented actor, plays three roles—including Drumpf and Putin. Fisher, in bathrobe and with cheeseburger, pouches out his cheeks and lips in delicious imitation of you know who. His body and movement embody the ridiculousness of our current Strangelovean Hell.

Each actor does brilliant double and triple duty to bring a Saturday Night Live touch to the soap opera that springs daily from the headlines. Fisher’s satirical take on U.S. antics strikes home, hitting the target with wit and wisdom.

John Fisher makes amazing shows. This time he has concocted a mash-up of our glorious leader, Russia’s glorious leader, and a fabulous drag queen from Washington, D.C.  Feisty Ruby (magical Charles Peoples III) gets hooked up with a horny, handsome Republican from the White House, named Ezekial (elegant, intense Morgan Lange). Ruby, a sparkling, musical drag queen, takes down the GOP operative, who shows up at an underground cabaret in D.C. The wonder of this odd couple leads to delicious soap opera antics.

Fisher’s “Transitions” is peopled with hilarious characters like the rigid, forbidding White House assistant Dalanka, played by the versatile and mesmerizing Kathryn L. Wood. Whenever Wood is on the stage, she rivets our attention to her caricature of a scheming civil servant. Whether she’s playing an American toady or Russian boot-licker, Wood creates detailed characters with natural comic ease.

Ruby sings great drag numbers with rare talent and verve. In her tight-fitting red dress with knee high red velvet boots, she brings down the house. In Moscow, Ruby gets literally tied up with Vladimir Putin, perfectly played by the irrepressible Fisher.

We leave the newly renamed Gateway Theatre with a lighter step, knowing that a sharp-edged comedy and satire like “Transitions” can launch laugh bombs high into the sky, raining joy and jokes over the wondering world.

— Barry Horwitz –


If you are looking for an off-the-wall satirical farce with political overtones then the world premiere of Transitions playing at the intimate Gateway Theatre should be just your ticket.

Charles Peoples III as drag queen Ruby steals the show and his three numbers are worth the price of admission as he controls center stage.  

— Kedar Adour –

... comic vignettes does have a cumulative effect …the zany mayhem win the day

... the play is about the behind-the-scenes relationship of Donald and Melania.

Fisher, the playwright and director, has also challenged himself by playing both Trump and Putin in semi-quick change fashion. 

... the script allows Katie Rubin more room to maneuver as the surprisingly savvy Melania than as the gruff Lyudmila Putin. Rubin communicates both the haughty glamor of the first lady as well as scoring both zingers and tough love directed at her husband. 

Ruby, the emissarial drag queen, whom Charles Peoples III plays with confident sass, and who scores with an a cappella performance of the classic Russian ballad "Dark Eyes."

in the moment, there is ramshackle charm and even a few meaningful scratches beneath the surface of life with No. 45.

— Richard Dodds – Bay Area Reporter


... delightful comedic sensibility

Fisher plays his dual roles with considerable relish ...

— Patrick Thomas –

... the acting is quite good ...

(Fisher) effectively captures the body language of both leaders

The show’s highest acting honors go to Charles Peoples III’s Ruby, who gives the most intense and most serious performance of the evening. Ruby is tough as nails and has no problem speaking her truth, such as when she rejects Ezekial’s advances because of Ezekial’s refusal to come out. Ruby has clearly been around the block a few times. She has no time for BS. She emerges as the evening’s most admiral character.

— David Nahmod –

... a cast of six players in an off-the-wall farce about “the Trump era,”  A drag queen attached to the comedy, a Russian president, an American president and their lost staff tell this story about gender and sexuality in the world of geopolitics.

It is a Marx Brothers caper that is scary real between the two leaders, their wives and an overzealous staff in both countries. In a moment of international crisis this comedy explores Trump and Putin as they both risk blowing up the planet. The wonderful Charles Peoples III is cast as Ruby a drag queen who steals this show, and is the hero of this farce with points of missed humor that carry the plot.

Charles Peoples as Miss Ruby makes this show worth a visit, and the cast is tight with the comic and drama timing. 

— Vince Media  –

Fisher has directed Transitions as a barking mad thriller sprinkled with easy laughs.


Read the script.