WELL, THEY'RE NOT THAT ANGRY: I finally got around to seeing the much-praised and much-extended Broadway production of "Twelve Angry Men" this evening, and this is a production that deserves all the praise it's received. Brilliant ensemble acting all about (led by Boyd Gaines as "#8," the Henry Fonda/Jack Lemmon role), clean direction, and great use of a small space to work. Two particular things stand out:
1. How shockingly funny the play is. The audience cracked up numerous times, and it's all the more astounding because of how violent and sudden much of the play is. The humor's black, to be sure, but it's there.
2. How much the play is about race. Even though race is never explicitly mentioned in the text of the play, keeping the play set in the 50s and having the entire cast be white guys brings across unspoken truths about race and plays up an "Us vs. Them" element in the play that remains relevant to this day.
A couple of tiny complaints--I was seated far house right/stage left, and it was like trying to watch a movie made for widescreen in pan-and-scan--characters would drop out of the frame. Be respectful of every seat in your staging, please. Second, Gaines is trying a little too hard to be Jimmy Stewart, with a somewhat cloying accent that we could do without. That said, it's a great evening at the theatre. Check it out, either in the final few weeks before it closes, or on tour next year.