Now playing at the best little Actor’s Equity playhouse in the region: Farragut North, a political drama deftly crafted to reveal the dark side of presidential politics – one dark side, at least, in this tale of cutthroat machinations, perpetrated in the name of getting a candidate elected. When Stephen Bellamy, a political spinmeister and seasoned veteran of the campaign trail at age 25, becomes press secretary for an aspiring Democratic presidential candidate with grassroots appeal, he becomes inextricably entangled in a web of his own making.
Farragut North evokes strong memories of the 2004 primary race of Howard Dean. It was adapted for the big screen by George Clooney (along with the playwright Beau Willimon and Grant Hesloy) in the film The Ides of March. Written by Willimon after a stint working for both senator Charles E. Schumer of New York and former governor of Vermont Dean, Shadowland’s play charts the distance between the ideals and goals of public service and the power struggles, deceptions and deceits of political operatives. Willimon’s statistic-laden dialogue is contemporary, funny and suspenseful, priming audiences for yet another real-life exposure to the twists and turns of a presidential race this year.
Co-produced by Collier & Berger, Esqs. and directed by Brendan Burke, the cast includes Nick Ciavarella as Stephen Bellamy, Lori Wilner as Ida Horowicz, Mark Slama as Paul Zara, Patrick J. Kiernan as Ben, Briana Pozner as Molly, D. C. Anderson as Tom, Arisael Rivera in dual roles as Frank/Waiter and Michael Castillo understudying the character Ben. See Farragut North this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. for $30, and on Sunday at 2 p.m. for $25 (a $2 senior and student discount applies). Shadowland Theatre is located at 157 Canal Street in Ellenville. Call (845) 647-5511 or visit www.shadowlandtheatre.org for further information. The play is rated R for language.