I hate communism, but I hate Hitler more!
Hello America. This is London calling.
Good night, and good luck
~ Opening and closing statements in Edward R. Murrow’s broadcasts
Two great men shared great opinions on World War II but heavily disagreed when things are personal. Prime minister Winston Churchill and journalist Edward R. Murrow, played extraordinarily by Michael Karme and Tyler Cooke respectively, come together in war and life. The life being Churchill’s beautiful and calculating daughter-in-law Pamela Digby Churchill (Chantelle Albers). Albers holds her own between these two powerhouses. She’s quick, smart, elegant and can size a person up at first glance. She’s instantly attracted to the handsome Murrow but their individual marriages, and Murrow soon to be a father, causes major obstacles in their budding relationship.
Of course, the major complication is Churchill, who calls his daughter-in-law a whore. She retaliates with some swift jabs before exiting. Karme is excellent as the prime minister. He’s sharp, on point and unapologetic on his beliefs and politics. As Murrow, Cooke takes in Churchill with ease. Not too quick to respond with a simple yes or no, he absorbs the elder statemen’s advice. As Pamela, Albers has the freedom to make her alter ego into a sinner or saint or in between with a wave of her long blonde hair. It’s easy to see why Murrow would be tempted and Churchill indifferent to her.
In the middle of their personal issues, the world is falling apart. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Germans did regular bombing raids. It was a mess, but still, these men kept it real with each other. Karme could have replaced English actor Gary Oldman in the movie The Darkest Hour and won the Oscar for Best Actor. Karme’s version of Churchill exposed his human side. He wasn’t always difficult, but knew he had to be when it came to the world’s survival. Cooke was made to play the intelligent, worldly and handsome news journalist. In real life, Churchill offered Murrow the position of joint director-general of the BBC, where Murrow aired his nightly broadcasts. The North Carolina native declined and continued with his reports.
Three individuals serving the same purpose but doing it in their own way. Like the saying goes, “War is Hell.” They must of thought about Churchill at the time. This is an excellent show filled with intrigue, historical facts with some personal touches added to make it more heartfelt. Writer Willard Manus does an excellent job in bringing closeness of the human spirit during the world’s most distressing time.
The Finest Hour: Churchill and Murrow runs until Sunday, July 22nd at 2 p.m. The show plays Saturday the 21st at 8 p.m. at the Write Act Repertory at the Brickhouse Theatre located at 10950 Peach Grove Street in North Hollywood. For reservations, log on to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3328722