A Soldier’s Play

Original photo by Michael Sult from FreeImages.
Is Broadway finally ready for this tale of American racism during World War II?

By Andrew Andrews

In the middle of World War II, a command of segregated black infantrymen at Fort Neal, Alabama is shaken by the murder of their trouble-causing sergeant, Vernon C. Waters.

Although the enlisted men are certain that Waters was lynched by the Klan, base commander Captain Charles Taylor believes two white officers are guilty of the crime.

Captain Richard Davenport, a lawyer well-known as one of few black officers at the time, shows up to investigate the incident. Taylor insists that the locals won’t cooperate with Davenport’s investigation, and this struggle between two men on the same side creates plenty of tension, in this story about the complicated relationship not only between the races, but within them as well.

Originally performed off-Broadway nearly forty years ago, the story was considered too “revolutionary” for the Great White Way at the time, although it did receive the Pulitzer Prize and a film version soon after.

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Andrew Andrews attended A Soldier’s Play at American Airlines Theatre in New York on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 @ 8:00pm to write this review.

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