[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of Foursome Productions’ “Farragut North” by Beau Willimon, directed by Peter Allas, produced by Michael Donovan and Peter Allas at Theatre 68 Arts Complex through November 5
Remember “House of Cards?” Before you know who did you know what. Truly iconic TV, such a shame to end that way. But the author, Beau Willimon, also wrote this spectacular play, “Farragut North,” named after the metro rail station closest to the lobbyist/think tank area of DC. Think “Dante” meets “Gotham” meets “Newsroom.”
It’s a shakedown of the system, a dire report card on the state of elections. In particular, campaigns, as every candidate and their minions shimmy and strut their way through an ever-decreasing circle of bullshit until one man or woman, but let’s face it it’s usually always a man, is left standing…
I suppose you can say there’s an art to it, if you are really cynical. But if there is, it’s a deadly virus kind of art. A bloody psychotic mess with absolutely no redeemable features whatsoever. Which is why the main character in this diabolical diatribe must meet his sticky fate. Are there people to like and admire in this brilliantly written and superbly acted play? Not really. But then “Farragut North” is trying to be truthful and this is politics. So our expectations of ‘nice’ are pretty low. I would say that there are moments of glimmers of humanity. But the ambition and the lust for power and the overwhelming draw of being the slickest of the slick stomps that into the dust.
Of course, there are regrets, but notably only after the fall from grace. Such is human nature I suppose, if you can call this collection of souls human. But they are very entertaining, especially to each other. It puts me in mind of a shiver of sharks, or a clan of hyenas. But I think that’s a bit of an insult to the animals really.
Each swerve of the plot is perfectly arranged, each slow betrayal, inevitable fall and underestimated move delightfully corrodes every individual as they slide further and further from the light.
This is exactly why our political system needs a total overhaul. We are continuously lied to, played, our collective fates already sealed long ago. What a mess. What a shame. But what a sadly gorgeous play.
Each and every one of these wonderful actors performs with utter incandescence. Their characters so beautifully wrought, electrifying, profoundly good. They range from brazen to nakedly ambitious, to refreshingly candidly centered to reptilian to icarus-like to the devil you love to hate. This is an actors play, no doubt. And they all rise perfectly to the occasion.
I love political drama, and even though you might think you are all played out in that particular regard by now, I can assure you, you are not.
“Farragut North” is a boldly brilliant piece of political drama populated by fabulously horrid characters whose journeys continue on long after the play is over. They are that well written.
It’s a terrific ride, shockingly real, even in these days of never say never to anything. There were literal gasps from the audience on multiple occasions! I absolutely loved it!!!
“Farragut North” is only on for another couple of weeks, so don’t dawdle!!!
The “Farragut North” cast features Chris Wong, Jack Esformes, Camryn Mann, Amy Motta, K.J. Powell, David Reyes, Michael Rubenstone.
Written by Beau Willimon, directed by Peter Allas, produced by Michael Donovan and Peter Allas, and presented by Foursome Productions.
Through Saturday, November 5
Thursdays at 8PM
Fridays at 8PM
Saturdays at 3PM
Saturdays at 8PM
Theatre 68 Art Complex
5112 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 90601