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BWW Review: TWELVE ANGRY MEN Captivates at Syracuse Stage

BWW Review: TWELVE ANGRY MEN Captivates at Syracuse Stage
The company of Syracuse Stage's production of Twelve Angry Men.
Photo by Mike Davis.

The classic American courtroom drama by Reginald Rose Twelve Angry Men, under the impressive direction of James Still, is now captivating audiences at Syracuse Stage. The production is co-produced with Indiana Repertory Theatre and showcases brilliant acting, a flawless and detailed set design by Junghyun Georgia Lee, and thought-provoking topics.

The drama is set in a sweltering jury room of a New York City courthouse in 1957. The scene comes to life beautifully and flawlessly thanks to Junghyun Georgia Lee's set and costume designs. The set features a table that fits all twelve jurors on a turntable. There are also three large windows that appear to be above the streets of New York City where there is view of other buildings and clouds. In the jury room there are two doors, one that leads to the bathroom and one to the courtroom. The bathroom has a screen that allows the audience to see in for select scenes when coordinated with Michelle Habeck's light design. The intriguing courtroom drama effortlessly unfolds as the impressive artistic design once again takes center stage at Syracuse Stage.

Twelve jurors must decide if a teenager accused of murdering his father is guilty or not guilty. Most of the men, eleven in fact, are quick to judge this teenager and without further questioning automatically vote guilty. However, Juror 8 (Chris Amos) believes the young man's life matters and deserves to have the jurors take the time to question and discuss the evidence. He chooses to vote not guilty. As the questioning and discussion begins the room becomes extremely heated and I am not just talking about the temperature. The outrage, anger, prejudice, and so on, all come into play as these twelve men determine if this young man is guilty. One by one each jurors vote is swayed. So, what is the outcome? Does this young man have a chance? Or, do stubborn and judgmental people let their prejudices take priority?

The production features a dynamic and captivating group of actors with impeccable chemistry. Reginald Rose's play features incredibly quick and brilliant dialogue resulting in unbelievable performances. Each member of the ensemble cast captures their unique and complicated character through professional and detailed performances. The entire production is truly outstanding as the actors effortlessly deliver the brilliant, witty, and thought-provoking lines.

Chris Amos as Juror Eight is consistent, brilliant, and commanding in the role as he convinces the eleven other jurors that this young man's life does matter and that he does deserve a fair trial. Micheal Stewart Allen as Juror Seven brings the comedic relief with his quick and witty line delivery. Seth Andrew Bridges as Juror One steals the spotlight as he takes control of the room when the jurors get out of hand. Patrick Clear as Juror Eleven, with his believable accent, incredibly likeable stage presence, and impeccable line delivery, delivers many top-notch moments. Mark Goetzinger as Juror Nine is a highlight of the production with his commanding stage presence and flawless line delivery. Scot Greenwell as Juror Two, who seems to constantly get interrupted and may not have as many lines as the rest of the cast, delivers a standout out performance and plays off of his fellow cast members with spot on perfection. He is a definite standout. Casey Hoekstra as Juror Six, with his wide-eyed expressions and superb line delivery, showcases a very engaging and memorable performance. Charles Goad as Juror Twelve showcases impressive comedic timing. Robert lerardi's role as Juror Ten and his breakdown that showcases his characters prejudices, anger, and judgmental personality is showstopping. Craig Spidle as Juror Three delivers a truly breathtaking performance in the chilling final scene. Demetrios Troy as Juror Five with his commanding stage presence, consistent performance, and emotional line delivery is a true standout. Finally, Henry Woronicz as Juror Four brings an intelligent and fascinating portrayal to his role.

Twelve Angry Men is must see at Syracuse Stage as it showcases impeccable line delivery, fierce and flawless performances, and showstopping artistic scenery. The story is real, raw, and relatable as the emotional and captivating acting takes center stage.

Running time: One hour and 40 with no intermission.

Syracuse Stage's production of Twelve Angry Men runs from October 9, 2019 through October 27, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. For tickets and information on this production and upcoming productions click here.

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