Dirty Politics Deconstructed

At first glance, this play about backroom politicking during a presidential primary campaign shows us nothing new or revelatory. It's a chess game of spin, purposeful press leaks, sex with interns, and plenty of backstabbing. But, the great cast, led by the electrifying performance of Ben Euphrat, and the script -- being made into a movie by George Clooney -- makes the familiar story thoroughly engaging. Based very loosely on Howard Dean's 2004 presidential run, and written by former campaign staffer Beau Willimon, Farragut North details the few intense days leading up to the Iowa primary and the infamous "Dean Scream." Willimon has changed all the names, and this fictional retelling focuses not on the presidential candidate but on his 25-year-old hotshot press secretary, here named Stephen Bellamy. Euphrat, as Bellamy, is irresistible as he backs himself into a dangerous and starry-eyed corner while having affairs, trusting devious reporters, and testing his own loyalty to his candidate. It's quite a compelling drama of one man's betrayal of his ideals and descent into dirty politics.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 24. Continues through March 5, 2011

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