A Soldier’s Play
By Andrew Andrews
From the dimly-lit set filled with somber, spiritual harmonies at the opening, to the final, full-cast salute at the end, this production has everything I expect from a show of this caliber.
The complex characters are superbly portrayed by the cast, from the well-known leads to the minor but important roles, and the simple set dissected by perpendicular lines delivers a cold, rough backdrop for the never-ending interpersonal tension.
Although this is far from a musical, the blues-inspired songs that are regularly sung by the enlisted men in their barracks are one of the highlights of this production, whether used as a segue or to express their collective anguish.
Clocking in at less than two hours including the intermission, this isn’t a long show and doesn’t feel like one. At the same time, my partner and I felt that the pacing was perfect, and the engrossing story felt complete and never contradicted itself.
There was a very brief moment during our performance when the microphones went out, and some noise from the sidewalk bled into the theater during a quiet moment in the action. But these were minor distractions, and didn’t stop the experience from being everything I expect from the topmost notch of live theatre.
Appealing to a more diverse audience than most of what Broadway has to offer, it’s a shame that this classic whodunnit? mystery with stronger-than-average character development will only be around a short time.
Andrew Andrews attended A Soldier’s Play at American Airlines Theatre in Manhattan on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 @ 8:00pm to write this review.