After a hiatus that seemed much too long, Theatre Time Productions has returned in a new venue with the intense drama “Twelve Angry Men.” Founders and Executive Producers Judy and Kevin C. Vincent remain at the helm.
Onstage, a 1950s all male jury almost comes to blows while reaching a verdict for a minority teen accused of murder. Bigotries five decades ago were more visible but today’s more subtle prejudices keep this production relevant.
The stark stage consists of twelve plain chairs and a plain long table. A extended shadow runs across the rear wall. Torrential rain is heard in the second act, increasing the tension. A simple water cooler is prominently located “downstage right”. Kudos to John Palmieri for both lights and sound (Benny Bosio for props). The always charming Dawn Ryder continues as the Jackie-of-all-Trades
OK. What about the actors? The quintessential “everyman” is played by Michael Wolf. His dozens of projects have made him a welcome and easily recognizable figure onstage and off. In “12” he skillfully plays a loud, sneezing bigot whose hollow biases ultimately crush him.
Armand Catenaro (juror#8/associate producer) has the formidable and very well played task of halting a tidal wave of negativity. He succeeds with even tempered, persistent and undeniable logic. Bravo. As juror #7, Peter Vrankovic (associate producer) steps in for ailing Jim Thomas without missing a single, very intense beat.
Thomas J. Kane (juror #3) is anything but mellow. His rages onstage are brilliantly believable. Frank Freeman (juror #4), another multi production community veteran maintains cold reasoning as he ably plays a Wall Street businessman. Al Carbuto (juror#11) portrays the obligatory “foreigner” with pride and determination. Howard M. Speiller (juror#9) is the stereotypical “wounded old man.” His fervor is anything but weak and trite.
Anthony Bisciello (juror #6) is a well played compassionate tough guy. Adam Bjelland carefully downplays his emotions as the rational “foreman” for his eleven angry peers. Jurors #5 (Danny Leonard Gutman), Keith Junas #12 and Eric Leeb #2 complete the angry men as they reveal their own passions and help bring the cauldron that is the jury room from seething simmer to brutal boil.
Now located at the Grace Episcopal Church, 14-15 Clintonville St in Whitestone, call 347-732-9015. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.