.....When a play about contemporary American politics begins with a tedious, implausible, largely pointless shaggy-dog story, you, gentle audience member, know you are in for a long afternoon. When the playwright (Beau Willimon) riddles that story with irrelevant digressions, and the actors (Eric Scheffer Stevens, Anne Marie Nest, Anthony Crane and T. J. Linnard) step on each others lines in delivering the dialogue, that’s when you know your Metro train is stuck at Farragut North......
by Tim Treanor
published: July 16, 2009
....The show follows Stephen Bellamy (played by Eric Sheffer Stevens), young and idealistic press secretary to one of the candidates. Stevens, striding determinedly through the snow in a camel-hair overcoat, bears more than a passing resemblance to Michael Murphy in Robert Altman’s Tanner ’88. Stevens’ Bellamy is pinched between expediency and loyalty, in a milieu of double-dealing where “You can trust me” can be a laugh line. ....
....The production, and in particular Robert Klingelhoefer’s brilliant set, is first-rate. David Remedios’ sound design gives a chill overlay to the first act’s banter, and John Ambrosone’s lighting is of the best. As for the performances, they are spot-on. Stevens lays the groundword for his second-act turnaround even while playing the pleasant young bartender-grad student, and Lescault and Nest are very inch the ying and yang of conspiracy. Matthews, whose work I have praised earlier in the Festival, here recalls Christopher Lloyd at his comic best — shaken, but never stirred.....
by Tim Treanor
published: July 17, 2009
Character: Stephen Bellamy
Playwright: Beau Willimon
Director: Ed Herendeen
Theatre company: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF)
Playwright: Stephan Dietz
Director: Liesl Tommy
Theater Company: Contemporary American Theater Festival
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