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A Soldier's Play Previews

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CarmenA3
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A Soldier's Play Previews#26
Posted: 1/3/20 at 10:02pm

Matt Rogers said: "JDonaghy4 said: "Even though I enjoyed this more than you did, i agree with this. the play is weak"

The play is weak? I mean, I haven’t seen it, but it won the Pulitzer Prize. Just sayin’.
"

Maybe once you've seen it, you can also jump in with your opinion, in the meantime...

I saw the show on the 1st and I'm in the same camp...I felt the play was weak and wondered what was so amazing about it in the 80's for it to win the Pulitzer. It felt like there was nothing more to read into it than what was said and done on stage. They do need to remove Blair's shirt buttoning at the top of Act 2, the wooping and clapping completely broke the spell. Everyone in my party agreed it needs to be cut (or he needs an undershirt at least) to maintain the drama.

 

 

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JBroadway
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A Soldier's Play Previews#27
Posted: 1/4/20 at 5:11pm
I saw the matinee today.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It’s tightly written, tightly paced, and in my opinion, then suspense held through to the end. I appreciated the way the exploration of the nuances of racism were woven into the mechanics of the plot. I’m not utterly blown away by it, but I can see why it won the Pulitzer (unlike the hot mess that was Young Man From Atlanta). And I definitely think this is among the strongest productions of a play that Roundabout has done on Broadway in the past 5-6 years. I liked it much more than All My Sons, which I found to be just as dull as the rest. I actually enjoyed the way Leon did the ending.

The ensemble of actors is generally very strong, especially among the soldiers. But I agree with those that say O’Connell is the weak link. For me, he was easily the showiest, and least grounded of the bunch. I also wasn’t hugely impressed by Grier. I did find him to be a bit over-the-top at times. For me, Underwood and the young soldiers walk away with the show.

And for those wondering:

There WAS a strong audience reaction to Underwood’s open-shirt scene today.

I tried the the stage door - I wasn’t expecting much since it was a matinee, but I had time to kill. Grier surprisingly came out (I’ve heard that he usually doesn’t stage-door). Underwood did not come out, but a few of the soldiers did.
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uncageg
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A Soldier's Play Previews#28
Posted: 1/4/20 at 6:12pm

Do they use the final line that was used when it was off Broadway. It is said that the reason it did not transfer is because they wanted to remove it and Fuller said no.

Just give the world Love.
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JBroadway
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A Soldier's Play Previews#29
Posted: 1/4/20 at 6:52pm

uncageg said: "Do they use the final line that was used when it was off Broadway. It is said that the reason it did not transfer is because they wanted to remove it and Fuller said no."


 

 
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IIRC, the final line in this production is when O’Connell’s character says he’ll have to get used to black people being in charge, and Davenport says something like “yes, you’ll all get used it” or something to that effect. 

Was that the final line you’re referring to? If not, what was the other version? 

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A Soldier's Play Previews#30
Posted: 1/8/20 at 9:09pm

JBroadway, thanks. Yes, that is it. Seeing it next Tuesday. 

Just give the world Love.
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Jordan Catalano
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A Soldier's Play Previews#31
Posted: 1/10/20 at 10:49am
I caught this last night and I enjoyed it much more than a lot of the people who’ve posted here did. And maybe I was just really invested in it, but ink didn’t see the “twists” or the outcome from a mile away, like others have said they did. I just thought it was a really powerful piece of theater.

Two things - Blair’s “shirtless” scene got a lot of heavy breathing and one “god damn!”

Is this based on a true story? The ending made it seem like it was.
Zion24
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A Soldier's Play Previews#32
Posted: 1/10/20 at 1:34pm

Jordan Catalano said: "I caught this last night and I enjoyed it much more than a lot of the people who’ve posted here did. And maybe I was just really invested in it, but ink didn’t see the “twists” or the outcome from a mile away, like others have said they did. I just thought it was a really powerful piece of theater.

Two things - Blair’s “shirtless” scene got a lot of heavy breathing and one “god damn!”

Is this based on a true story? The ending made it seem like it was.
"

its funny, i also got the same impression that it was a true story but my (very limited) research indicates it wasnt. the reason i thought it was a true story, however, was because of how anti climactic the plot was. regardless, theres no question it reflects the sickening treatment of african american soldiers in the US army, which appalled my grandfather when he fought alongside them.

i also can NOT believe they still have him shirtless at the top of act 2. its dramatic malpractice and the mark of a truly misguided director. 

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Jordan Catalano
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A Soldier's Play Previews#33
Posted: 1/10/20 at 1:46pm
It’s funny because there’s ZERO reason for him to be shirtless except to get that response to the audience. Not that I’m complaining...
Zion24
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A Soldier's Play Previews#34
Posted: 1/10/20 at 2:21pm

Jordan Catalano said: "It’s funny because there’s ZERO reason for him to be shirtless except to get that response to the audience. Not that I’m complaining..."

i mean, yes he looks good but it stops the show in its tracks. by this production's logic, every single play should have at least one scene of hot-body-ness, regardless of the subject or context. really ridiculous.

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A Soldier's Play Previews#35
Posted: 1/14/20 at 8:09pm

Different question: we have tickets for the rear orchestra box seats that are slightly obstructed. Is this an issue for this production or is it mostly staged centrally? 

JSquared2
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A Soldier's Play Previews#36
Posted: 1/14/20 at 9:00pm
Has anyone gotten TodayTix rush tickets? If so how were the locations?
Hopelesslydevoted24
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A Soldier's Play Previews#37
Posted: 1/14/20 at 9:47pm
Rear Orchestra Seats.
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A Soldier's Play Previews#38
Posted: 1/14/20 at 11:55pm

Andre4 said: "Different question: we have tickets for the rear orchestra box seats that are slightly obstructed. Is this an issue for this production or is it mostly staged centrally?"

I was there this evening. I was in the front Mezz house left. If it is those box seats you may miss a few things that happen on the stairs. If they are house right I don't think you will miss much.

 

I really enjoyed the play. I have been waiting for over 30 years to see it. I grew up in the town where Charles Fuller's family lived and knew them well.  This was a big deal for our part of town. As was the movie.

It could use some tightening up in places just to keep you guessing a bit more. The acting is wonderful across the board. David Alan Grier deserves a Tony Nomination for his performance. He was outstanding. 

I found it interesting that the actors moved the office set pieces on and off stage as the wall panels slid in behind them. I kept thinking they did it for a reason as they could have just easily had them on a track and they are only on the sides of the stage. I also loved the reflective floor on the stage. A nice affect at times from upstairs.

The show is not just a mystery. It has a lot to say about the black community at that time and it is based on Mr. Fullers experiences in the Service. This stuck with me more than the mystery but it all ties in. I found Mr. Underwood's final moments onstage to be riveting. And yes, the crowd lost it at the top of Act II and he had to break character. Yes, the man is still built for days. Shows how women still swoon over him as you did not hear a peep when the soldiers had their shirts off. And yes, they are also built. For days!

All in all I think it is well worth seeing. It is kind of medium paced but never lost my attention.

It evidently did with the lady in the middle of my row who decided to get on her phone 10 minutes into the 2nd act. Her case had bright lights all around the edges. There is NO WAY the cast did not see this from the stage. She was too far away for me to say anything, and as per usual, the people next to her didn't say a word.

 

 

 

Just give the world Love.
Updated On: 1/15/20 at 11:55 PM
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A Soldier's Play Previews#39
Posted: 1/15/20 at 7:53pm

Thanks so much for the detailed and thoughtful answer / review!

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A Soldier's Play Previews#40
Posted: 1/15/20 at 8:10pm

I caught this a couple weeks ago and never posted my thoughts. I thought this was... fine. It is your typical Roundabout Theatre Company American Airlines schlock as far as I'm concerned. Bland and boring direction. Kenny Leon's use of the rap music in Much Ado this past summer didn't work, and it doesn't work here either. The whole thing just felt very heavy handed from the plodding pacing to the stage pictures. The cast was fine, but no one stood out to me. All in all, it's an okay evening in the theatre, but also a perfectly missable evening in the theatre in my book.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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A Soldier's Play Previews#41
Posted: 1/16/20 at 12:47pm

Agreed with bwayphreak, this was a fine production of a very good play. Well-acted, with the standout to me being J. Alphonse Nicholson, But two days afterward, I forgot that I saw it.


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