Flattery won’t get you shit!

Photos by Peter Allas

What happens when you get a group of “friends” together in a bar in Des Moines, Iowa, chatting among each other while having drinks? For this crew, anything and everything is up for discussion. The leader of this savvy crew is the charming and never a loss for words is Stephen Bellamy (Chris King Wong is absolutely wonderful) as the communications director. He relates his off-colored stories to an always inquisitive New York Times reporter Ida Horowitz (Amy Motta is another great talent). While comfortably hanging around the guys, trash talking and recalling stories in between sips of wine. She demands answers from Paul regarding a certain incident in South Carolina. Rounding off the high politico crew, are Stephen’s boss Paul (Michael Rubenstone) and friend Tom Duffy (Jack Esformes). Stephen has a gift of attracting the right people who quickly surround him. His boss thinks he’s great, the reporter sees future stories in Stephen’s eyes and you can feel his underling Ben, (K.J. Powell) taking mental notes on what to do and not do to reach Stephen’s status.

Playwright Beau Willimon thought of the political thriller when former Vermont governor Howard Dean ran for the presidency back in 2004. Willimon took what could have been a complicated story filled with innuendo and secrets, into something well thought out and developed. The end result is a clear understanding that will lead to a major surprise at the end. The cast does an excellent job in their individual roles creating both intrigue and delight.

Stephen is clearly the focal point. He’s smart, handsome, and talkative without coming off as a loudmouth and very charming. It doesn’t take him long to bed intern Molly (Camryn Hamm) who is more clever than her naiveté allows. Stephen has been in the game since age 15 and now at 25, he does run things. He’s usually ahead of everyone and can control when things look as if it will go left. Then, a secret is revealed putting him back with the rest of us humans who make mistakes. Director Peter Allas does an excellent job in weaving separate stories coming together with no confusion.  Now it’s time to cast your vote that “Farragut North” is the best thing to watch as an amusing break from the real life politics. At least you’ll get to laugh for a while.

Farragut North plays Friday the 4th at 8 p.m. and Saturday the 5th at 3 p.m. and at 8 p.m. playing at the Theatre 68 Arts Complex – The Rosalie, located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets are $35 for Saturday at 3 p.m. and $45 on Friday and Saturday night at $45. For tickets, log-on to www.onstage411.com/farragutn Running time: 120 minutes, with one intermission. Proof of full vaccination plus booster required for entry. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times in the theater.