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A Soldier's Play

B-

In Jo Bonney’s new production at Second Stage, Charles Fuller’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize winnner A Soldier’s Play has the too-smooth texture of an Important Television Event. The once-enraging now merely engaging story of murder in a segregated WWII battalion certainly doesn’t lack dramatic energy: James McDaniel and Anthony Mackie — playing a tyrannical, self-loathing drill sergeant and a querulous private, respectively — supply plenty of juice. (McDaniel, gnawing on if not entirely devouring the scenery, lands just shy of caricature.) But Rent Adonis Taye Diggs, as the embattled black officer investigating the case, seems to strut through most scenes as if on his own personal runway.

A Soldier's Play
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