The Citadel Theatre - Off to a Great Start this Season with A Few Good Men...

This weekend was a great weekend for using my Vue Weekly Ticket prize pack.  I sent Oliver and Mark off to see Joel Plaskett at The Arden on Saturday night and then I took my mother to see A Few Good Men at The Citadel Theatre on Sunday night. The boys quite enjoyed their night of music, buying CDs and getting them autographed and the boys have been listening to the opening act, Mo Kenney, as we drive home from school each day.  They each have a favorite song and we bounce back and forth between track 3 and 8 as many times as we can before we reach home.

Both my mother and I were quite impressed with A Few Good Men.  It was a tightly run ship - quickly paced, which I love and which I felt the script calls for, and committed performances.  I found the direction the outstanding part of the show.  The script, with it's quick cuts and film like dialogue, is not easy to stage but Director James MacDonald keeps it moving and the use of the revolve is clean and sharp.  I really liked the use of the marching chants to move from scene to scene.  It kept you in the world of the military - the world of the one-mind/following orders/doing duty. I felt the piece was very strong for it's sense of ensemble and this too supported the over-arching theme of the play - If there is one weak link the whole thing would crumble, but there isn't - it is military precision with each unit following their orders without fail. It's hard to attack a play like this where 90% of your audience has seen the film and knows the lines (You can't handle the truth!) and there is the inevitable comparison.  I was happy that I was able to immerse myself in this particular telling of the story.  Sure, I had moments where I was thinking: "Who played that character? Oh, yeah, Kevin Bacon.  Oh yeah, Kiefer Sutherland.", but it was more of my brain being jogged by memory than being separated from the show.  In fact, seeing these different actors speak the words in their own voices made me understand the weight of what was going on even better.  There are a few tiny missteps - one sound cue that made everyone between the ages of 40 and 50 giggle, and a titch too much yelling when you wished for some subtlety, but the latter served the masculine nature of the subject and the former happens at a moment where no major damage is done. The key moment of realization at the end brought tears to my eyes and the authenticity of that moment was perfect.

Afterwards my mother and I talked for quite some time about the nature of living in that military world and how it must be to live in a world where you must follow orders without question.  It was thought provoking even though both of us had seen the film many times before.  Still relevant today - perhaps even more so.


broadwaybarb said…
I also quite enjoyed the show for the sames reasons you list. The tight pacing was noticed and appreciated. Our audience also giggled at the sound cue. Axel F, anyone?
Annemarie said…
Hey Kristen - just for my education, what do you mean by revolve in the following statement:

'the use of the revolve is clean and sharp'

Finster said…
The set had two nested revolves (spinning portions of the deck) and the actors stepped onto and off it without a beat missed. It never jerked anything out of a smooth flow. Sometimes in shows there is a pause or a beat while actors wait for the technical parts to work but they had obviously practiced a lot with it and used it a lot. There is a whole 10 minute scene int he beginning where the actors walk (as though in a busy office place on their way to their office) constantly with the revolved spinning beneath them and furniture and other cast members moving and shifting on the revolve. Not a single hiccup.
Finster said…
Barb - I actually laughed louder at the "Take My Breath Away" soundclip right after - since it's so TopGun - but Axel F was tres fromage!
Annemarie said…
Cool! Thanks for the info! :)

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