“You can’t handle the truth!”
That famous line from the film rings true again in the Los
Angeles premiere stage presentation of “A Few Good Men,” from Birdman
Productions and Old Country Productions at the Third Stage in
Playwright Aaron Sorkin’s (“The West Wing”) taut, crisp writing
unfolds a study of honor, duty, discipline and racism set in the
Marine Corps base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where two Marines are
accused in the unexplained death of a private. Lieutenant j.g. Daniel
Kaffee, a Navy lawyer, is assigned to provide a defense, primarily to
satisfy the legal requirements before the men are sentenced and
In preparing the case, Kaffee uncovers an unofficial ritualistic
practice, called Code Red, had been ordered on the private by the
commander, who then orchestrates a cover-up that results in bringing
down several high-ranking officers and threatening the very fiber of
The authenticity created by director David Blanchard as he leads
the huge cast is enhanced by a cleverly maneuvered set that morphs
from an office to a courtroom.
Joel Berry as Kaffee is excellent as a cynical playboy who finds
truth can be a powerful converter and Dick DeCoit totally captures
the corrupt commander’s attitude.
Angela Pupello and Jason Harris deliver excellent performances as
the defense team, and the rest of the cast is wonderfully convincing.
Whether in camouflage fatigues or in crisp dress blues, the actors
look and sound like enlisted men and women, and, by the end, you’re
ready to enlist.
Sorkin’s script explores corruption and arrogance disguised as
loyalty, and a false sense of righteousness that tramples over the
very truths that it’s supposed to preserve.
A top-notch drama at its compelling best, this bristling study of
opposing wills keeps the audience riveted to every word and scene.
This is a must-see show, provided you can handle the truth.