Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Time To Kill

Rupert Holmes has adapted a classic best seller and movie for the stage.  John Grisham's first book and now his first play for the stage is a remarkable work that needs just a bit more work before its ready for prime-time.

Leading the pack is the very handsome Sebastia Arcelus (Jake Brigaance).  Hi charm and good looks held my attention but there was something perhaps a bit detached or formulaic in the courtroom drama.  When staging a scene, or in this case an entire play, around a courtroom you need to have crisp, quick dialogue.  It was almost there, but some of his colleagues on stage - primarily former senator and presidential candidate Fred Dalton Thompson (Judge Omar Noose) need a bit more time in rehearsal.

Tom Skerritt (Lecien Wilbanks) exemplified the second problem with this play - I couldn't hear him.  He's not a stage actor by trade.  And when a play takes a tact to not mic the actors (i liked the idea too) you had better cast actors who can speak up!  Sadly this was not the case.  Lastly, Tonya Pinkins (Gwen Hailey) is brilliant but wasted in the small role.

These problems aside, I think there is merit in the production and there's hope for some improvement.  The stage design by James Noone is remarkably engaging with its rotating platform constantly changing perspectives in the courtroom.   I hope the rest of the play brings itself up to the brilliance of the rotating courtroom.