One happy critic

Twelve Angry Men

By a show of hands, who knew <i>Twelve Angry Men</i> was going to be such a success?

By a show of hands, who knew Twelve Angry Men was going to be such a success?

Sacramento Community Center Theater

1301 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 808-5291

Rated 5.0

The taut, tension-filled courtroom drama of Twelve Angry Men makes for gripping entertainment, with a suspenseful storyline that’s also an incredible illustration of Democracy in action. This spellbinding look at a murder-trial deliberation from inside the jury room brings home the concept of the American legal system, where a defender is judged by peers and is innocent until proven guilty.

This recent Broadway revival is now in a limited run at the Community Center Theater and headed by two well-known television actors: Richard Thomas (John Boy from The Waltons) and George Wendt (Norm from Cheers). The duo’s strong acting skills, and support from 10 equally talented cast members, make the audience quickly forget their well-known TV characters.

The drama begins at the start of jury deliberation. Twelve men locked in a jury room must decide the fate of a 16-year-old accused of killing his father. Since the story is set in the ’50s, the jury members are all male. The production wisely keeps the film noir feel with muted colors in sets and costumes, dramatic mood lighting, old wooden furniture, Venetian blinds, and a fan whirling in the corner.

Characters emerge, speeches are made, vote counts shift and the audience becomes engaged in both the story and outcome. The only drawback is seeing this intimate play in a large venue. The closer your seats, the better.