Warrior Class Hits Its Talking Points

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Louis Ozawa Changchien (left) and David Rasche in 'Warrior Class.' Louis Ozawa Changchien (left) and David Rasche in Warrior Class. (Second Stage Theatre)

Gore Vidal’s 1960 play The Best Man is enjoying a successful revival on Broadway. It opened in April, received a couple of Tony Award nominations and attracted a starry cast including James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury and John Laroquette. But it’s not the only political play currently on the boards in New York.

The Second Stage Theater has mounted Kenneth Lin’s Warrior Class as part of its summer series devoted to new works. Vidal’s The Best Man concerns two men vying for their party’s nomination in a Presidential election and involves a sizable ensemble; Warrior Class observes a moment in the career of a young, rising politician and puts just three-characters onstage.

But New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood finds some real substance in the new, small-scale work, and also considers why there isn’t more theater about politics, especially in an election year.

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