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A Few Good Men
a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Aaron Sorkin

COMPANY : New Dawn Theater [WEBSITE]
VENUE : New Dawn Theater [WEBSITE]
ID# 5062

SHOWING : April 21, 2017 - May 07, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

This Broadway hit about the trial of two Marines for complicity in the death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay sizzles on stage. The Navy lawyer, a callow young man more interested in softball games than the case, expects a plea bargain and instead discovers a cover up of what really happened. Prodded by a female member of his defense team, the lawyer eventually makes a valiant effort to defend his clients and, in so doing, puts the military mentality and the Marine code of honor on trial.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Sherry Ingbritsen
Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway Brandy Carlton
Col. Nathan R. Jessep Robert Coker
Capt. Jack Ross Loren Collins
Navy Orderly, MP Andy Hoeckele
Lt. j.g. Daniel Kaffee Robert McMullen
Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson Blake Panton
Sgt. at Arms/Cpl Hammaker/PFC Louden Dow Robbie Summerour
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REVIEWS

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More Than a Few; More Than a Few Good
by playgoer
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
3.5
Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama "A Few Good Men" requires a large cast, with only one role specifically written as a female. With a community theatre production, this inevitably results in uneven performances. Luckily for this production, the three major roles are filled ably. Robert McMullen gives Lt. Daniel Kaffee a light, brash air that deepens as the play proceeds and he becomes invested in his lawyerly role. Brandy Carlton gives Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway a no-nonsense air that doesn’t change much during the course of the play, but she delivers her lines with promptness and sincerity, keeping the action moving. Perhaps best of all is Bob Coker as Col. Nathan Jessep, who functions as the villain of the piece. His weaselly demeanor and sarcastic delivery definitely get the audience rooting against him.

There are several other good performances. Loren Collins and Don Walters are quite believable as lawyers for the prosecution, as is Blake Panton as one of the accused (and also Robbie Summerour as the other at the performance I attended). Many of the roles are quite small, and only line bobbles detract from some of the performances. There are only a few instances of questionable casting, most notably Arvelle Draper being cast against type as a wisecracking Jewish lawyer.

As is typical at New Dawn, the wide playing space portrays several locations in fixed positions, with action ricocheting around from one to the next. Far stage right is a prison conference room. Next to it is a sniper’s station, and center stage is the courtroom proper, with the tables and chairs used by the defense and prosecution rearranged to indicate other indoor locations. Far stage left is an office, and between it and the courtroom is a raised bedroom platform. The prison conference room, bedroom, and office are rearranged slightly to portray different locations as required by the script. Lights, not always a highlight of New Dawn productions, work well to delineate the various locations.

The most impressive technical element is the costumes. Sherry Ingbritsen, Celeste Campbell, and Brandy Carlton have pulled together a collection of uniforms that give the production a crispness and style. Almost all characters wear their uniforms well and carry themselves with an appropriately military bearing. Director Sherry Ingbritsen has blocked several scene transitions to have troops marching and calling as they circle around the back of the audience, with a dimly lit sniper looking out over a net-covered wall with binoculars to give some visual activity. The overall feeling is that of having dropped into a military installation and being a fly on the wall as courtroom arguments proceed. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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