Posted by: | Posted on: February 23, 2017

American Blues Theater presents
By David Auburn
Directed by Keira Fromm

March 9 – April 9, 2017

At the age of seven, I can remember looking out the window from our apartment with tears in my eyes seeing my big brother leaving as a drafted solider on his way to Vietnam. This sadness and the fear that I would never see him again forged my initial plunge into the world of news. I was young and knew nothing about journalism or the news but I listened like I was writing the news myself.

During the height of the war, it was reported that over 600 accredited journalists were writing, talking and fabricating the news in an effort to fashion public opinions and push the political wheel of government. By a journalist letter being typed with a poison desire to deliver first-hand news before its competition, people around the world could be a heartbeat away from the battle; but there were two men that were very influential and received recognition for their news reporting.

With so many voices speaking, two men, Joseph and Stewart Alsop stood out from the crowd and became the essence of the play called The Columnist. Born in the 1900’s, these brothers became known for their work as political journalists working for the New York Herald Tribune, The Saturday Evening Post and Newsweek. Joseph (played by Philip Earl Johnson) is the nation’s most influential journalist was loved, feared and hated but his passion for his country was never questioned. He is an all American patron with a zealous and bias viewpoint and he doesn’t care who doesn’t approve. Stewart, (played by Coburn Goss) is the level-headed brother and tries to placate Joe’s insensitivity but he battles with the secrets of his brother and continual pressuring Joe places on him to work together again to produce the Matter of Fact column.

I was a little thrown off with the beginning of the play and although its meaning was an important piece of the entire play, I would have preferred a less graphic depiction. My overall take on the very passionate play was a big WOW! Philip earl Johnson nailed being Joe Alsop and Coburn Goss was equally good as Stewart. The discord between the two was priceless and the cast that included Kymberly Mellen, Tyler Meredith, Christopher Sheard and Ian Paul Custer provided a stellar performance.

This play which is at the American Blues Theater is not for everyone but if you like historical journalism new stories like I do, I strongly recommend you going to Stage 773 and check out The Columnist by David Auburn and directed by Keira Fromm.

My Let’s Play rating is 3 Stars.

Tickets can be purchased from:
American Blues Theater

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