Zemfira Stage A Few Good MenBy Laura & Mike Clark • May 20th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Zemfira Stage’s production of A Few Good Men [MP3 5:04 2.3MB].
The Lyceum, Alexandria, VA
$15/$10 Students, Seniors, Military
Mike: A Few Good Men is a play by Aaron Sorkin. It tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, United States Marines accused of murder. This play was made into a film in 1992 and starred Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson.
Laura: This was an intense show. I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. There were some funny lines as well as some intense moments.
Mike: Despite being very familiar with the film, I was looking forward to this play and it did not disappoint me. I had a good time. It was different from the movie (don’t rent the movie before you go see the show). I think the acting was solid throughout the entire show. I think you’ll have a good time with it.
Laura: There were three defense lawyers in this play. Lieutenant junior grade Daniel Kaffee was played by John G. McCracken, Jr. I thought he was good. Maybe a little stiff in the beginning and had some timing issues at the beginning, but as the play went on he got into a rhythm and I think he did a really good job.
Mike: The other two defense attorneys were Sam Weinberg (played by Mitch Irzinski) and Joanne Galloway (played by Jessica Billones). I think they did a fine job. The relationship between Irzinski and McCracken was almost like brothers. They seemed to know each other really well. There were a few scenes at the end where they decided to battle on in the court case where they just clicked together and it felt like they were just really good friends. Then of course you had Joanne Galloway who was just a bur in their saddle. They were not quite sure what to do with her. She was so annoying to them. At the beginning of the show no one liked her, but as it wore on everyone did get closer to her. She got more friendly and more open. I liked that the relationships between the different performers did change throughout the show. They all had the same goal throughout and it was interesting to see how the relationships changed.
Laura: Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Jessep was played by Tom Pentecost. He was actually kind of scary. He had a lot of rage on his face that he kept in check pretty well until the end of the show. Then he really let the attorneys have it. Jessup was evil in my opinion, but he gave a good strong performance and he was very believable.
Mike: The show took place entirely within the legal system of the military. You do not need to know the details of that. I got a little confused sometimes by the different ranks of the different characters. But it was not too distracting, partially because I have seen the movie so I knew what was coming. There were some things in the movie that did not happen in the stage version. But that was OK because they covered what they needed to cover to make it make sense. If anything, I think a couple things made more sense. In the movie Sam Weinberg did not really have a closer. In the show he has a nice scene with the two accused, Harold Dawson (played by Greg Gallagher) and Louden Downey (played by Alex Avila). It worked really well and I liked that scene.
Laura: This show had a lot of adult language in it. I would not recommend this for under upper high school because the language was prolific. But when you have a bunch of testosterone laden Marines that it come out.
Mike: The set was fairly simple. There were three primary areas of the stage that were used: left, right, and center. The lights were brightened and dimmed appropriately. This worked fine. We were siting in the middle kind of near the front, and for some of the courtroom scenes I felt like I was watching a tennis match because I had to swing my head all the way left and all the way right and go back and forth. So when you see this show, you may want to sit farther back in the auditorium. It is not a real deep auditorium. It may help be able to take everything in at once.
Behind each of the areas there were some scenes that were drawn. The Scenic Artist was Jeanne Trimble. They worked really well. They were scenes from around the DC region. There was also a scene from Guantanamo Bay and I think it added to the feel of the show.
Laura: A Few Good Men ran approximately two hours and forty minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday May 31. Friday and Saturdays at 8. Sunday the 25th at 7:30 and a Thursday show on the 29th at 8 pm at the Lyceum in Alexandria, Virginia.
Mike: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list to stay informed with theater in the DC area.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
Photos by Zina Bleck
- Military Police, Sergeant at Arms: Lynn Lacey
- Military Police, Dave: Nick Heath
- Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson: Greg Gallagher
- Private First Class Louden Downey: Alex Avila
- Lieutenant Junior Grade Sam Weinberg: Mitch Irzinski
- Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel A. Kaffee: John G. McCracken, Jr.
- Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway: Jessica Billones
- Captain Whitaker: Robin Parker
- Captain Matthew A. Markinson: Jeff Murray
- Private First Class William T. Santiago: Soneyet Muhammad
- Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Jessup: Tom Pentecost
- Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick: Claude Stark
- Lieutenant Jack Ross: Howie Brown
- Corporal Jeffery Owen Howard: Carl M. Tenny
- Captain Julius Alexander Randolph: Ardith Collins
- Commander Walter Stone: Paul Flippin
- Producer, Director: Zina Bleck
- Assistant Director, Light Design, Technical Director: Herb Tax
- Sound Design: Jen Foster
- Costumes: Jessica Billones
- Scenic Artist Jeanne Trimble
- Publicity: Jay Tilley
- Technical Staff: Katherine Bisulca, Mary Brick
- Front of House Staff: Eleni Aldridge, Margaret Snow
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2289.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.