A Soldier’s Play – American Airlines Theatre – February 2020

At he beginning of the second act, Blair Underwood takes the stage buttoning up his wide open uniform shirt while he performs a monologue. There is literally no reason for him to do this except to show us all his 55 year-old fanfuckingtastic six pack. But I promise you, no one in the theater was upset by this blatant attention grabber. It is unfair for someone to look that good as he gets older.

Holy cow.

I haven’t even started writing about the play and I digress. That’s how bloody gorgeous Blair Underwood is.

Okay, I think I’m done now.

Wait, I’m not. I’ve been thinking about Blair Underwood’s abs a lot and it occurs to me (in all seriousness) that they were included to give us one brief, lovely moment of levity because this show is so goddamned heavy. So thank you, Blair Underwood, for the gift of your amazing chest.

Back to the show.

If you’ve seen the 1984 movie (based on the play performed off-Broadway in 1981) you know exactly what you’re in for. And not one actor on that stage disappointed. I know it is the job of the casting folks to get it right but holy cow did they get it right here. Not one weak link. And in a show where it feels like it would be easy to blur most of the characters together, that doesn’t happen here. Each one is a complete person who you get to know and who you’ll find fascinating.

It’s an amazing piece of theater and I’m still stunned it took this long to get it to Broadway.

Also, David Alan Grier is absolutely incredible in a demanding role that he just runs with. He opens the play in such a way that you wait for every moment he takes the stage after that. Folks are so familiar with his comedy but he just seamlessly makes his way into this dramatic role as if it was specifically written for him.

It’s a short run for this show, it closes on March 15th, and that’s really too bad because so many people are going to miss out on near perfection in theater.

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