A Few Good Men

Rated 3.0

Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant military courtroom drama was a Broadway hit in ’89 (and Tim Busfield, who’d soon launch the B Street Theatre in Sacramento, was in the cast). A film version followed in ’92 (netting an Oscar nomination for Jack Nicholson).

This City Theatre production features veteran community actor Blair Leatherwood. He’s played baddies from Macbeth to an insidious corporate titan peddling baby formula in the Third World. This time, Leatherwood is Col. Jessep, a very dubious Guantánamo commander. (And this story’s set in 1986, before you’d ever heard of Guantánamo).

The cast also includes Anthony Person, an engaging young actor, as Lt. Kaffee, a rising attorney appointed to defend two tight-lipped Marines in a seemingly hopeless case involving another Marine’s suspicious death.

The play explores a conflict between the unofficial military code of honor and official rule of law. Its ins and outs are fleshed out capably by director Lori Ann Delappe-Grondin. Technically a college show, this big project (more than 20 roles) had a few unwieldy moments with lights and lines on the night we saw it. But on the whole, it’s well-acted and quite absorbing. And the clash between paradigms of security, loyalty and truth is timeless.