A FEW GOOD MEN presented by the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts through Oct. 7. Click here for a synopsis and more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.
Covedale Center for the Performing Arts kicks off their 2018-2019 season with a sound and satisfying production of Aaron Sorkin‘s military drama, A FEW GOOD MEN.
Director Ed Cohen has a knack for casting that is very evident here, having put together a solid acting ensemble from top to bottom. The action is well-paced and the director smartly found ways to keep the action dynamic and interesting during the understandably static court room scenes.
The set design by Brett Bowling works well for the production, opting for a backdrop of a fence line with a giant re-creation of the US Marine Corps logo dominating the stage. Taking advantage of the Covedale’s wide proscenium, the smaller scenes are staged in lit areas stage right, center, and left. This also limits the time needed for scene changes as tables and chairs are simply re-positioned throughout the performance.
It is evident that Costumer Caren Brady worked hard to bring authenticity to the various military uniforms worn throughout the production. The cast also handled multiple quick costume changes well with no delays in returning to the stage.
Being such a solid production, the few complaints I have are nitpicky. At the end of Act I, Kaffee’s final line seemed to break the fourth wall which felt out of place. Using military cadences to cover the scene changes worked up to a point. It does get a bit repetitive, so if any can be eliminated on the shorter changes I’d recommend considering it. Also when the cadences are used, it is very apparent when they are not in sync. Lastly, for Markinson’s final scene you may want to consider putting the sound effect after the blackout and choosing one that doesn’t sound as muffled.
Overall, A FEW GOOD MEN is a solidly performed, engrossing court room drama which naturally builds to a satisfying conclusion.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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