Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers: 2008 Tour Edition By: Geoffrey Cowan, Leroy Aarons

Top Secret
The Battle for the Pentagon Papers: 2008 Tour Edition
By: Geoffrey Cowan, Leroy Aarons
Narrated by: John Heard, John Getz, Susan Sullivan, James Gleason, Gegory Harrison, Diane Adair, Geoffrey Wade
Length: 1 hr and 53 mins
Performance
Release date: 08-07-08
Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

Have I told you lately how much I love these productions from L.A. Theatre Works? Well I do. Because they always have a great cast, the recordings are lifelike and put you in the middle of the audience. I highly recommend seeking out anything produced/published by LATW.

So this story/play is just as it sounds it is a performance depicting the fight between corrupt government and the free press. (funny how this was in the Nixon era, but so much hits home today.

The New York Times has gotten their hands on these “Pentagon Papers” and is about to publish them until the government gives them a scare and they decide to pass on these once (maybe still?) classified documents that show that America cannot win the war in Vietnam. These papers were issued a few years before and the subject matter discussed in them is in the past. The Times passes the papers to the Washington Post which makes the daring decision to publish them.

The Nixon White House insists they are top secret and the press has no right to publish. It could be a breach of National Security and treason for the Washington Post and their other companies.

A trial ensues and that’s when it comes out that the government cannot be trusted.

The events were in this play were during a very divisive time in American History and much like today’s divisive political atmosphere, proves how important it is for Americans to have a free press.

As always great performances by all and definitely a good listen. There is a bonus recording with this in which the play and its subject matter are discussed in a panel with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, journalist Robert Scheer, author Geoffrey Cowan, and Congresswoman Jane Harman.

Publisher’s Summary
This is a timely docudrama about The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, a top secret study documenting U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The subsequent trial tested the parameters of the First Amendment, pitting the public’s right to know against the government’s desire for secrecy.
This new 2008 tour edition features a new cast and a revised script.

Bonus content: a panel discussion with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, journalist Robert Scheer, author Geoffrey Cowan, and Congresswoman Jane Harman.

©2008 LA Theatre Works (P)2008 LA Theatre Works