Playing at The John Golden Theatre located at 252 West 45th Street. It runs two hours thirty minutes with one intermission. The show is an open ended run.
The story is based on the book written by John Grishman in 1988. This was his first novel. In 1996 the book was adapted into a film.
Rulpert Holmes (playwright) won a Tony Award for Best Book and Best Score for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (1996). He received Tony nominations in 2007 for “Curtains” (Best Musical and Best Score) and in 2003 for “Say Goodnight Gracie” (Best Play).
Ethan McSweeney (director) was nominated for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award in 2000 for “The Best Man”.
Tom Skerritt is known for his role in Picket Fences”. He won two Emmy Awards in 1993 and 1994 for this role.
Tonya Pinkins was nominated for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award for “Carolina or Change”. She was nominated for an Obie Award in 2003 for “Carolina or Change”. In 1997 she was nominated for a Tony Award for “Play On”. Tonya won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award in 1992 for “Jelly’s Last Jam”.
Fred Dalton Thomas was a United State senator from Tennessee, 1994-2003. He was in was in the television show Law and Order (2002).
The play takes place in the early 1980’s, in and around the Clanton courthouse Ford County, Mississippi.
A ten year old black girl on her way home with groceries was kidnaped, raped and brutalized.
The two men who did the crime were caught. The men are white.
The judge Omar Noose (Fred Dalton Thomas) sets the bail higher than the men can afford.
Carl Lee Hailey (John Douglas Thompson) the girl’s father is in the court room. He comes back a few days later when the men are going to be in court and kills them and wounds the police officer with them. He asks Jack Brigance (Sebastian Arcelus) to be his lawyer. Jack has won three cases involving black men. But none of them for murder.
The story revolves around the events that happen before they go to trial and what happens once they do.
The district attorney Rufus R. Buckley (Patrick Page) is trying to make a name for himself from this case. He wants to be governor.
Jake sends his family away fearing for their lives. Jake is white and has been getting threats. His father in law Lucien Wilbanks (Tom Skerritt) is giving him advice, he was a lawyer once. But he is drunk most of the time. We get bits and pieces why he can’t practice law any more.
Rufus intern Ellen Roark (Ashley Williams) is finishing her internship with him. She wants to help Jack get Carl free.
Ozzie Walls (Chike Johnson) is the sheriff in the town. Ozzie is black. He lets Carl’s wife Gwen (Tonya Pinkins) visit him. She questions him why he had to do this to his family. They need him both financially and physically. Gwen tells him their daughter is having nightmares and will never be able to have children.
Tonya Pinkins is touching as the mother in such agony. Her daughter will never be the same and she may lose her husband. You feel her pain she is so convincing.
Patrick Page is the sweet talking district attorney. You can feel what a slime bag he is. He does the role so good.
This is a touching story about bigotry and hate in the south. I would like to have seen more fire in some of the characters. But it still is a good show.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
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