12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men is timeless.  The Roundabout Theater is doing a first-ever theater performance of this drama.  The cast consists of mostly seasoned veterans of theater.  The play lasts an hour and 45 minutes without an intermission – my favorite type of play. 

It is a solid performance across the board.  I really liked it.  The story line, which I already knew, kept me riveted through the entire performance.  The scenery was very clever.  The scenes either take place in the juror’s room or the bathroom which is off to the side of their room.  When characters go to the bathroom and dialog begins, the floor shifts over so you can see the bathroom and the conversations taking place.  When that ends, the bathroom shifts out of view.  Very clever. 

The jurors are definitely angry from the time they enter the room.  All baggage and prejudices come with them from the get go.  I would have liked to see the director instruct the characters to come in less angry and do a better crescendo as time goes on but the heat is turned up constantly through out the play regardless.

All and all, worth seeing.  Good solid theater.  The show only goes on for 6 weeks.  I would bet that it is exhausting as an actor to put this type of performance on every night for too long. 

Showing the back room drama of a jury is very interesting.  I went home and put the movie in my Netflix queue.  I’d like to watch the movie with the kids and discuss the debates that take place in the juror’s room and how Democracy works.  Last year our oldest went downtown to do a mock trial with her class.  It was really fantastic.  She’d probably get a lot out of it as would the other kids in discussion.  The movie is timeless and so is the debate. 

So, I am really glad to have seen 12 Angry Men last night.  To be able to see good theater and then bring it home later for discussion is what good theater should be about.  Also, having the kids see Jimmy Stewart act can’t be a bad thing.