JANE FONDA VERSES THE VETS
Currently at theEdgemarCenterfor the Arts, the production, “Jane Fonda in the Court of Public Opinion”, is attracting a wide assortment of patrons as most anything Ms Fonda has to do with.
The setting is her confronting a number of Vietnam War veterans much as it actually happened at an actual encounter in 1988. Anne Archer takes on this difficult role, with Michelle Danner directing and a play written by Ms Archer’s husband, Terry Jastrow.
In researching the play, Mr Jastrow actually journeyed toHanoi, visiting many of the actually locales that Fonda frequented during her controversial war protests.
Ms Archer, herself a self admitted civil rights activist, has said her and her husband’s aim was to be as objective as possible. The feat does not come easy because of this fact. After viewing the piece it becomes evident that even though Ms Archer portrays Fonda’s regret in being part of the widely publicized photo of her cavorting with the North Vietnamese as she sat on the anti aircraft gun, the way that the vets are characterized in their vehemence is so over the top that they become almost like cartoon characters. Just one of them seems to have the intelligence to approach her in any rational way.
What is not brought out at all, and in all fairness to Ms Archer slack can be given since her focal point probably is the war only, is Ms Fonda’s controversial activities prior to her Vietnam War stance. Since the late 60’s her activism involving supporting the Indians refusal to give up land they were holding at Alcatraz Island, her support of the Black Panther movement, her touring various military bases speaking against the military and recently her refusal to sanction the Iraq war has not won her many allies. During this time, her activities were monitored by a number of government agencies and the FBI underHoover.
But getting back to basics, the show is kinetic enough to hold your interest throughout and Ms Archer does an admirable job in what she has to work with.
The Edgemar has done an admirable job in presenting quality productions, most recently “Sylvia”, which has settled down for an extended run and before that the immensely popular “HobokentoHollywood”, This production extends that professionalism and should be on the boards also for some time.
The production runs Friday and Saturdays at 8, and Sundays 2 and 7.
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