BWW Review: FARRAGUT NORTH at The Vortex Theatre
"One of the things parents told me growing up - always tell the truth 'cause it's easy to keep the story straight," Timothy Kupjack stated during the talkback of Sunday's production of Farragut North. What truth in the realm of politics means is one of the main topics of the play. Written by Beau Willimon, who adapted House of Cards for Netflix, Farragut North examines the lives of the "background people" of politics - the interns, campaign managers, and scriptwriters who are doing their best to get their candidate elected - as well as the reporter covering it all. Some of the political players, such as John Wylie's Paul, truly believe in their message and have a strong desire to make the country a better place. Other characters, like Kupjack's Tom Duffy, are willing to do whatever it takes to win the election. Caught in the middle of the political chess game are Jack Jackson as Stephen and Ericka Zepeda as Molly.
According to Lewis Hauser, the director of Farragut North, one of the key aspects of the play is that it, "mentions both sides. It doesn't concentrate on one side and isn't biased to one particular side." Jackson added that it's a play about, "political truth and actual truth" and quoted a line from the play about how, in politics, what's said by a candidate doesn't have to be the truth - what's important in a campaign is spinning a situation to one's advantage.
Each member of the cast does a stellar job with their roles. Jackson portrays a man who is livid at the turns his life has taken from the start of the play to the end, lashing out and betraying everyone in his life to get revenge for the slights against him. Kupjack plays a man who has been in the business of politics long enough to become jaded by the business to perfection, exuding the emotion of how draining the whole process can be from his first scene to his last. Wylie as Paul is able to convey a sense of idealism despite his character's flaws. Ericka Zepeda is dynamic as Molly, a character who is, "relatively innocent and caught up in the washing machine," of politics. Owen Callis is perfectly cast as Ben, a man at the start of his political career who is still able to see the good in the process.
Farragut Northis a timely look at politics and how idealism can become tarnished along the way, with an emphasis on the various ways people's lives can be ruined in the process. Farragut Northis playing through November 18that The Vortex Theatre with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and a matinee Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets cost $22 and can be purchased by going to vortexabq.org or calling 505-247-8600.