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A Few Good Men is a play by Aaron Sorkin, first produced on Broadwaymarker by David Brown in 1989. Sorkin adapted his work into a screenplay for a 1992 film directed by Rob Reiner, produced by Brown and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore.

It tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, United States Marine accused of murder.

Play

Sorkin got the inspiration for the play from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah, who had graduated from Boston University Law Schoolmarker and signed up for a three-year stint with the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. She was going to Guantanamo Bay Naval Basemarker to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.

In research, some details were also taken from the experience of novice trial lawyer Donald Marcari's first case. The character of Lt. Daniel Kaffee was based on David Iglesias, at the time a United States Navy Reserve commander.

Once Sorkin completed a draft, his theatrical agent sent it to producer David Brown who wanted the film rights. Sorkin sold Brown the rights, getting Brown to agree to also produce A Few Good Men as a play.

Premieres

A Few Good Men had its world premiere at Kennedy Centermarker.

The original Broadway stage production opened at the Music Box Theatre in New Yorkmarker on November 15, 1989, in a production directed by Don Scardino, designed by Ben Edwards, and with music by John Gromada. It starred Tom Hulce as LTJG Kaffee, Megan Gallagher as LCDR JoAnne Galloway, Stephen Lang as Col Jessep, and Robert Hogan as Capt. Matthew A. Markinson. Replacement actors included Timothy Busfield and Bradley Whitford as Kaffee, Perry King, Michael O'Hare, and Ron Perlman as Jessep, and Pamela Blair as Galloway. Joshua Malina also appeared. It ran for 497 performances.

Other performances

A national touring company performed through 1992 with Michael O'Keefe as LTJG Kaffee, Alyson Reed as LCDR Galloway, and Paul Winfield as the judge.

In January 1993 A Few Good Men had its premiere in German language at the Volkstheater, Vienna, Austria (translation: Gunther Baumann, director: Erhard Pauer, Daniel Kaffee: Alfons Haider). In the following years this production went on tour and was shown all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria (German title: Eine Frage der Ehre/A Question Of Honor).

A revival of the play starring Rob Lowe in the role of LTJG Kaffee, Suranne Jones as LCDR Galloway and John Barrowman as Capt Ross, opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarketmarker, Londonmarker, in late August 2005 for preview showings followed by a three-month run in early September 2005. The stage show was directed by David Esbjornson.

Jensen Ackles appeared as LTJG Kaffee alongside Lou Diamond Phillips as Col Jessep in a production of the play at the Casa MaƱana Theatre, in Fort Worth, Texasmarker, June 5-10, 2007.

It has also been performed in London, Oxford and Portsmouth by amateur groups.

Awards and nominations

The Broadway production earned Megan Gallagher a 1990 Theatre World Award and a Best Actor nomination for Tom Hulce at the 44th Tony Awards.

References




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