EDISON, NJ—Bishop George Ahr (BGA) High School’s Summer Community Theater shed some light on the area’s current theatrical darkness with its production of Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama, A Few Good Men.
The production included a fine cast that consisted of professional, community, alumni and student actors.
BGA’s production proves that a good play still has plenty vitality and life left, even after it’s been transformed into an iconic movie. Director Ken Wiesenger, with support of this fine ensemble cast, easily made this staging of A Few Good Men a unique and distinct production.
The cast excelled, including a stellar performance of Zachary Beckman as Lance Corporal Dawson, the incredible comic timing of Brian C. O’Halloran as Lieutenant Sam Weinberg, and the gripping monologue by the conflicted Captain Markison, well-performed by Charles Deitz.
This reviewer would be remiss in his duties if he didn’t mention the engrossing courtroom confrontation between Bob Senkewicz as Jessup and EJ Gorden as Kaffee.
Both actors, to their credit, didn’t allow one of the most famous scenes in movie history to get in their way. The back and forth between a lawyer in a courtroom, and a witness on the stand was theirs alone.
Also making strong contributions to BGA’s A Few Good Men were: Lea Gosset as Lt. Commander Joanne Galloway, Stephen Mennella as Kendrick, Joseph Walter as Downey, Joseph Cullum as Jack Ross, and David Harris as Judge Captain Randolph.
A wonderful element in this play was its scene changes. Set to marine cadences, they were done in the dark with military efficiency and brought the play’s action, theme, and mood to a more complex level.
On what might be a negative note, one can’t fault the fine company of actors, the director, or the crew, but the audience, for some unknown reason, laughed frequently, almost to the point of distraction.
There are humorous elements to this play. However, A Few Good Men is a drama about a murdered marine, a possible cover-up and two youths being put forth as sacrificial lambs. The cast, to their credit, had no problem working around this and upheld the play's momentum.
A Few Good Men had a very limited run, lasting just three nights. For more information about BGA’s summer theater program and future productions, visit the school's website at: http://www.bgahs.org.