The Carnival Center continues to import fantastic shows from around the U.S.; tonights opening, 12 Angry Men, hails from Broadway. Set in the Fifties, the play takes place in a jury room, after the trial of a troublemaker accused of murdering his not-so-nice father. It seems to be an open-and-shut case, as the kid has a criminal record and is a generally dirty guy. But then theres Juror Number Eight, who isnt quite sure, dang it, and he stops the rest of the group from turning in a quick guilty verdict forcing each juror to confront his or her own preconceived ideas of race, class, and prejudice.
More than a play about just one court case, 12 Angry Men puts the entire judicial system on trial, showing it to be run by conservative white America, despite its purported sense of fairness and lack of bias. And guess who plays the jury foreman? George Wendt, of Cheers fame! No, the rest of the cast does not scream Norm! when he walks on stage. And neither can you. But you can enjoy the show through May 20 at the Ziff Ballet Opera House.