Next in Line
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Laurie Gallant

Playwright John Warren’s drama Next In Line takes a humorous yet searing look at local politics focusing on San Francisco. While the play poses some very hopeful repercussions to violent acts, such as alluding to the fact that if wars were fought with pies many lives would be saved, some of the characters in his production become moral casualties in a world that pays a lot of lip service to working for the greater good.

The play focuses on an office that works on getting political candidates elected. While everyone working in the office is politically savvy, most are still relatively new in this profession and are filled with ideals. But when some things start going wrong, Bobby (Don Speziale), the owner of the business, starts bending the rules little by little to achieve his ends. Though he feels his ends are for the greater good and worth minor bends in the rules, the straight and narrow line that servant’s of the people are at least suppose to follow becomes so distorted that some of his best employees have to quit their jobs to preserve their integrity.

Indeed, it is individual integrity that is the most pervading theme in this fine production. We watch those that lose it grow more powerful in a worldly sense, but we can’t help question: “At what cost?” And while those that maintain their integrity lose their jobs and all sense of worldly power, we begin to wonder, in the Biblical sense of “the last shall be first and the first shall be last,” who really is the next in line?

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