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TOP SECRET: THE BATTLE FOR THE PENTAGON PAPERS OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Opening Night: March 9, 2010

Show NY TIMES TM VARIETY BACKSTAGE TALKIN' BWAY
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Synopsis: Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aaron's suspenseful Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers animates the frontline clash between the government's need for secrecy and the public's right to know. Featuring a cast of eleven representing the real life characters at the center of this historic event--from Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee to Post publisher Katharine Graham to President Richard Nixon--this is a true story about one of the great "stand up and cheer" moments in American journalism.

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Broadway Reviews

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

"A momentous passage in American journalism strides stiffly across the stage of New York Theater Workshop in “Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers,” a fact-packed drama by Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons, journalists with distinguished careers that have extended into academia and other realms."

Click here to read the full "Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers" review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

"When The Pentagon Papers -- documents classified as "Top Secret" -- were first published by The New York Times in 1971, President Richard M. Nixon's administration angrily insisted that activist Dr. Daniel Ellsberg had stolen those documents and that The Times had no right to publish them. Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons crackling drama about that pivotal moment in history, Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, is now being presented at the New York Theatre Workshop in a brilliantly acted production under John Rubenstein's tight direction. Not only is it a great story, it's also great theater. "

Click here to read the full "Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers" review.

VARIETY REVIEW:

"Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons' Nixon-era radio drama has a lot going for it. There's a cast of seasoned actors, notably Jack Gilpin and Peter Van Norden; there's the remarkable sound design by Lindsay Jones, and there's the meticulous research demonstrated in the script. But even with all that expertise, "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers" needs to present a reason for retelling its press-vs.-the-president story, which it never manages to do. The LA Theaterworks co-production with New York Theater Workshop is slick and easy to watch, but it's unclear why everyone bothered in the first place."

Click here to read the full "Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers" review.

BACKSTAGE REVIEW:

"Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons' "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers" carries the subtitle "A Radio Play." And that's how it began life back in 1990, as a production of L.A. Theatre Works, a company that specializes in the genre. In 2007, the group decided to put the piece on stage, retaining the radio drama concept. As a result, at New York Theatre Workshop we have actors standing at an array of microphones, scripts in hand, while a Foley artist behind them creates sound effects. Alas, in the hands of director John Rubinstein, the conceit only proves distancing and annoying. The undeniably dramatic true story of a great struggle for American freedom of the press seems awfully dry, coming across as theater that's good for you rather than good theater."

Click here to read the full "Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers" review.

TALKIN' BROADWAY REVIEW:

"For Americans of a certain age, the release of the Pentagon Papers was one of those watershed events after which nothing would ever seem the same again. For some, publication of the Papers was an act of national betrayal and a demonstration of the reckless and self-aggrandizing tendencies of the press. For others it provided undeniable evidence that some of the highest officials in our government had been lying to us for years and were willing to sacrifice countless lives in a futile war rather than admit their own mistakes. "

Click here to read the full "Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers" review.

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