The Caine Mutiny-Court Martial is the latest revival of this classic, the first in close to 25 years. It marks the Broadway stage debut of David Schwimmer as Lt. Barney Greenwald, playing opposite Zeljko Ivanek’s Lt. Com. Philip Francis Queeg.
There was never a USS Caine, an associated mutiny or a resulting court martial, but Herman Wouk’s courtroom drama, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” has continued to cast its spell over audiences since its debut in 1954. An ingenious bit of storytelling, Wouk’s play originally impressed upon Americans the high costs of World War II.
His courtroom scenes, usually considered a dry and desolate dramatic format, are chock full of Schwimmer’s fans from the long-running television sitcom “Friends” will be in for a treat, seeing the often bumbling Ross Geller take on the meaty role (first played by Henry Fonda) of the attorney who doesn’t want to take the case o the accused in the first place.
As critic Walter Kerr put it, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is a theatrical adventure which builds a second-act climax of such hair-raising intensity that you are sure nothing, and no one, can ever top it. Someone then proceeds to top it.