The late 1960’s was a deeply troubled and often bizarre time in American history. Richard M. Nixon a/k/a ‘Tricky Dick’ was president, the war in Vietnam was raging and the anti-war sentiment was sweeping college campuses and permeated the booming hippie culture. It was concurrently a time of massive brutal carnage on a foreign stage and a time of free love, drugs sex and rock and roll. It was by all reasonable measure a period of psychotic break for America and it has been exquisitely captured in Diana Amsterdam’s new play ‘The Dodgers’ currently making its world premiere at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood.
The show is also blessed with an all-star cast including Corbin Bleu, Talisa Friedman, Jared Gertner, Asher Grodman, Emma Hunton and Eric Nelsen under the direction of Dave Solomon. The story revolves around a band of musicians clearly embracing the drugs, sex and rock and roll culture of the time. President Nixon has launched a new method of drafting young men to serve in America’s military and therefore almost certainly in Vietnam. His plan was a lottery system by which a person’s birth date determined his probability of being drafted. Birth dates were randomly drawn and two of the band members were horrified when they learned that their birth dates virtually assured them of being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Their goal became to find a suitable means of dodging the draft.
In the process of their efforts the audience is treated to an intriguing reveal into the personalities of all involved. It becomes a deeply transformative period when true character is displayed and long accepted behaviors are challenged. One revelation comes when one character ‘Patti’ discovers that free love can actually be very costly. The self-impressed ‘Nick’ discovers his inner decency and ‘Simon’ feels the pain of betrayal.
This story would not have happened had there been no Vietnam War, but it is not a war story. Rather it is a rich portrayal of a small group of young men and women forced to confront an array of interpersonal relationship issues that were both unique to the time and yet to some extent universal. It is a story well worth watching and you can do that now through February 28th 2016 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, California. Reservations and ticketing information is available by calling 323-960-7712. Student and group discounts are available.