Mr. Peel, played by Cliff Chamberlain, is a new member of the Big Cherry City Council. He missed the last session due to the death of his mother. The minutes from the last meeting have not been distributed, so he is behind on many topics. When he tries to find out what happened, the other members avoid answering his questions. He keeps digging and eventually a deeply dramatic story unravels.
The play explores the age old saying, “History is written by the winners.” What happens when you learn the full truth of the story? Can you ignore it and go on living the same way? Is ignorance bliss? This draws direct parallels to the current controversy over removing Confederate statues and also the Washington Redskins, who are playing their first Thanksgiving game this year, in what seems like a sick joke.
The performances in this production are world class. William Peterson, who may recognize as Gil Grissom from CSI, plays Mayor Superba excellently. He shows strength and leadership and he struggles to keep the meeting in order. Francis Guinan as Mr Oldfield is absolutely hilarious. In many ways, this role is similar to his performance in Hir. In both, he plays an old man almost completely unaware of reality who stumbles through life and provides comic relief for the show.
Ian Barford portrays Mr. Carp. Like his role as Wheeler in Linda Vista, he seeks the truth with conviction and it is forcing him to change in ways he didn’t expect. Danny McCarthy, who was last seen at Steppenwolf in The Flick, is great as Mr. Hanratty. The way he deals with the other council members during his proposal for a new fountain is so funny. All of the other supporting cast members are excellent as well.
Get tickets now for The Minutes through January 7th, before it heads to Broadway and wins a few Tony Awards!
Note: This is Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Lett’s follow up to Linda Vista. See our review here.