Convicted for the murder of a judge’s son, Darius McReele is exonerated due to the efforts of investigative reporter Rick Dayne. Before long, thanks to the support of political power brokers, Darius finds himself running for senator with Rick as his campaign manager. Featuring a powerful cast that includes Chris Butler and Eric Stoltz, this dramatization casts a keen eye on the justifications people make for their actions in pursuit of their goals. Listeners will be seduced by Butler’s charismatic performance, his Darius is sharp, perceptive, and always seems to know something that others don't. As Rick, Stoltz acts as his earnest foil, a skeptic who finds himself unable to resist Darius’ charms.
This rivelting tale of truth, lies and honor premiered in New York in 2005.
© and (P)2006 L.A. Theatre Works
"Intriguing....keeps audience members constantly off-balance in their attempts to come to easy solutions on a range of topics including the death penalty, the credibility of political candidates, and media ethics. What is clear in McReele is how people use individuals, groups, and issues to get what they want." (National Catholic Reporter)
The premise of the story is interesting and has the potential for intrigue. New information is revealed over the coarse of the play and changes the trajectory of the story in a clever way that catalyzes the drama.
Despite this strength, I take major issue with the following.
Art should not provide the answers to important questions. Art should ask the important questions. Art that attempts to give answers to important questions is not art but propaganda.
Personal opinions of the writer stuffed into the mouths of his characters makes us uncomfortable and reluctant to fully submerge into the world of the story because of the feeling that the writer is trying to manipulate us.
The moments when the writer characters get to stand on the soapbox and preach are so frequent that they lose their impact. Superior stories save the big speech for the climax of the story or at least at a pivotal beat.
The mentioning of the political issues of the day makes the story dated and will limits its shelf life as the issues of our day will become irrelevant.
The dialogue is not too bad. The acting is in the performance is over-the-top despite only occasionally being funny. The exemption is the actors playing Darius and Opal who both give a strong and emotional performance.
If you are a political junkie, you might like but I can't recommend.
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