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New Dawn Theater1
Average Rating Given : 2.00000
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REVIEWS

A Few Good Men, by Aaron Sorkin
A Few Good Things
Friday, June 8, 2007
2.0
This was a nicely attempted production, with a few good spots. Unfortunately, the many technical aspects hurt this show.

First off, the theater space was very dirty. When I walked in, I was greeted by peeling paint, dirty, dusty floors and a garish painting decor. Upon using the restroom, I found dead bugs on the floor. It made it hard for me to enjoy the play when it felt like I might be getting germs all over me.

The set seemed well constructed, but I didn't understand why every single set piece of heavy furniture was crammed on the stage. It was very distracting to watch a scene going on at the back of the stage with a bed, table and chairs in front of the actors. I think less would have been way more in this production, and a minimal set could have been used.

The lighting was atrocious for this show. The lights were poorly hung, there were glaring shadows on the walls, the actors looked washed out, and in some scenes, one actor could be in full light, while the person they were talking to was shrouded in shadows. The cues were also very slow up and down.

The most distracting thing, however, was the fact that even tough I was sitting not 10 feet from the action, it was hard to hear the actors over a rumblling air condition unit (which didn't seem to be cooling the space, anyway). The majority of the actors seemed aware of this noise and were trying to project over the noise, but it just made their characters seemed forced and unnatural. There was also noise coming from behind the audience, whispering, paper rattling and cars from the street passing by.

So what did I like? Well, the costumes were excellent. And I was very impressed by the young men playing marines. They were for the most part high schoolers, and judging from the photos in the program, all cut a considerable amount of hair off for this show, so I was impressed by the committment.

The acting jobs by Jessup, Galloway, Kendrick, Sam, and Dawson were all very good, but at times, they seemed unmatched by their acting partner on the stage with them. I also felt that some of the blocking had the actors upstaging themselves at times. The director could have done with a bit more, again, with a more open set, but the actors were confined to the small spaces dictated by the heavy set pieces. Also, with the actor's fighting over the noise, I again felt that some of the moments that should have been more nuanced were forced.

It was, though, a good effort of a theater for their first time out in this space. I hope that they learn from the mistakes of this play and move forward with the good actors that they have and only improve from there.

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