Up & Coming Weekly

March 12, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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12 UCW MARCH 13-19, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Cape Fear Regional eatre's produc- tion of "Trumbo," running through March 17, is not an easy play to review. e show's program contains two pages of historical context and another two-page glossary to help orient theatergoers. ere is no stage, no script and no action. To understand what plot there is, it helps to be a student of American political history. at said, "Trumbo" is a compelling drama. Spanning the period from 1947-1960, dur- ing which time capitalism and communism were locked in a pitched battle for global ideological dominance, the play tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, a highly successful, award-winning Hollywood screenwriter who ran afoul of the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee. Written by Christopher Trumbo, Dalton's son, and ably directed by CFRT Artistic Direc- tor Mary Kate Burke, much of the show's dialogue is taken straight from Dalton's prolific correspondence between friend and foe alike. e juxtaposition in those letters between the noble and the mundane is both brilliant and spellbinding. We meet Dalton for the first time as he defiantly takes on his HUAC interrogator only to watch his defiance dissolve into irritability as he pens a long- winded complaint to the phone company. e audience is held rapt during the reading of a high-minded moral defense — with implica- tions for our current political climate — only to dissolve in laughter minutes later as Dalton writes his college-bound son a hilariously ribald piece of fatherly advice. e role of Dalton is played by Larry Pine, whose screen credits include "Bull," "House of Cards," "Ma- dame Secretary" and "e Good Wife," among many others. Pine plays Trumbo as an unfailingly erudite curmudgeon who manages to hold onto his sense of humor as the world shifts beneath his feet and he plunges from fame and fortune to impecunious infamy, dragging his family along with him. at Dalton's family unfailingly supported him is made evident by the role of his son Christopher in the play, who acts as the glue that holds the entire performance together. Played with endearing diffidence by Michael Tisdale, whose credits include "Law & Order" and "ird Watch," Christopher provides the context for his father's story and helps the audience see beyond the bluster to the man he loved. e play ends with an unflinching, yet hu- morous, summing up of the cost of hewing to one's convictions. Whether Dalton was a martyr or a menace depends upon one's political persuasion. But politics is a pendulum that swings both ways — which should make respect for First Amendment rights a matter of universal concern. at this has not always been so is what makes "Trumbo" an important piece of theater. Burke and CFRT are to be commended for bringing it to town. Showtimes and ticket information are available from the CFRT box office at 910-323-4233. e box office is open Tuesday-Friday from 1-6 p.m. and one hour before showtimes. Learn more at www.cfrt.org. Review: CFRT's 'Trumbo' an important piece of theater by PRUDENCE MAINOR "Trumbo," starring Larry Pine (right) and Michael Tisdale (left), is at CFRT through March 17. EVENT PRUDENCE MAINOR, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com 910-484-6200.

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