Theater Info for the Washington DC region

American Century Theater Cops

By • Jan 6th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Amercan Century Theater production of Cops [MP3 4:46 2.2MB].

American Century Theater
Gunston Theater II, Arlington, VA
$26-$29/Adults; $23-$26/Seniors; Free 18 and under with adult
Through January 26

Laura: This is the review of Cops, performed by the American Century Theater in Arlington, Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on Saturday, January 5, 2008.

Mike: Cops was probably the most intense show I have ever seen. I can not remember ever being as nervous or as on the edge of my seat about what was going to happen next. At times it was a little scary about what was going on on stage.

Laura: This was a well acted show, but a very angry show. The cops were real and extremely human. Their thoughts and emotions were very real in the events that happened during the evening at the diner.

Mike: Cops is a play written by Terry Curtis Fox in 1976. The play realistically depicts a brief, violent, and disturbing encounter between a bungling criminal and three police officers in a Chicago diner. We are introduced to two hard working detectives who are trying to get out of the rain and stop in at the neighborhood diner. We get to know the cook, the waitress, and a couple customers. A third policeman comes in and they are having a good time chatting when another customer enters the diner.

Laura: One of the two cops was Jack Rolf, played by Regan Wilson. He did a very good job. He seemed to be kind of angry and very cynical. He has seen enough death and been on the force long enough to be jaded with the world.

Mike: I do think that Jack Rolf, although a cop, really liked the power that being a cop brought him. We get introduced to him early on before we know he is a cop. He kind of plays a head game with the taxi driver who was in the diner. He loved the sense of power that he got from playing the mind games that he did.

His partner Bob Barberson, played by Brian Razzino, was kind of like opposites attract. You could definitely see the good cop/bad cop when they were interrogating people. I could see them doing that sort of thing out on the street somewhere. They definitely had that camaraderie of the stories to one up each other and to keep everybody in line.

I did like how Razzino made Barberson very human. He was able to express his doubts about career decisions and what was best for his family. I liked the byplay he had with Mickey the waitress, played by Honora Talbot, and the cook, George, played by Rob Heckert.

Laura: Barberson was very much the smooth talker. When he was interrogating the cab driver who had his hat sat on, he was easy going, but at the same time you could see the jibes and the sarcasm in his voice and his actions.

Mike: Cops had lots of subtleties to it. One of the key subtleties was in the sound. The Sound Designer was Michael Null. What happened was it was a rainy night in Chicago and you could hear the rain off to the left and the right of the audience. Later there were police sirens coming from different directions. During the scene before anything really happened you had background noises from the street which included police sirens and ambulances. Once you had police vehicles gathered at the diner, you could hear the squawking of their radios together. I really think the sound effects added a lot to the show.

Laura: I liked the set for Cops. I thought it was realistic. The Set Designer was Trena Weiss-Null. It was a realistic working kitchen. You could see lots of business in the background that didn’t distract from the conversations going on out front. It was actually kind of comforting to have everyday work going on in the background.

Mike: Cops was a very solid production. You do need to be aware that there is very strong adult language; lots of four letter words, lots of adult situations being discussed. There is a fair amount of violence in the show. The show ran about an hour and fifteen minutes long with no intermission. There is about twenty five minutes of drama in this that is among the most intense drama that I have ever seen.

Laura: Cops is playing through January 26th at the Gunston Theatre Two in Arlington, Virginia.

Mike: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can get a weekly summary of things we’ve written.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Omelet Eater: Bruce Follmer
  • Mickey: Honora Talbot
  • George: Rob Heckert
  • Cab Driver: Bill Gordon
  • Jack Rolf: Regen Wilson
  • Bob Barberson: Brian Razzino
  • Gene Czerwicki: John C. Bailey
  • Customer: Shane Wallis
  • Lieutenant Buchevski: Bill Gordon


  • Producer: Rhonda Hill
  • Director: Stephen Jarrett
  • Assistant Director: Jason M. Beagle
  • Stage Manager: Alicia Oliver
  • Technical Director: Michael Null
  • Set Designer: Trena Weiss-Null
  • Lighting Designer: AnnMarie Castringno
  • Sound Designer: Michael Null
  • Costumer: Rip Claussen
  • Properties: Karen Currie
  • Set Construction: Jake Null
  • Vocal Coach: Jason M. Beagle
  • Photographer: Jeff Bell
  • Program: Michael Sherman
  • Program Logo: Michael Sherman
  • Weapons provided by: Preferred Arms
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