A FEW GOOD MEN Play Histoy

The A Few Good Men play is written by Aaron Sorkin, first produced on Broadway by David Brown in 1989.  It opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in New York on November 15, 1989, in a production directed by Don Scardino. Sorkin adapted his work into a screenplay for a 1992 film.

Sorkin got the inspiration for the play from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah, who had graduated from Boston University Law School and signed up for a three-year stint with the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. She was going toGuantanamo Bay Naval Base to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.

Once Sorkin completed a draft, his theatrical agent sent it to producer David Brownwho wanted the film rights. Sorkin sold Brown the rights, getting Brown to agree to also produce A Few Good Men as a play.

Several former Navy JAG lawyers have been identified as the source for the character of Lt. Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men. These include Donald Marcari, David Iglesias, and Walter Bansley III. The court martial was Macari’s first big court case. However in a September 15, 2011 article of The New York Times, Sorkin was quoted saying, “The character of Dan Kaffee in A Few Good Men is entirely fictional and was not inspired by any particular individual.”

A Few Good Men had its world premiere at the Heritage Repertory Theatre at the University of Virginia’s Department of Drama on September 19, 1989. It then transferred to the Kennedy Center.

The original Broadway stage production opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York on November 15, 1989, in a production directed by Don Scardino, designed by Ben Edwards, and with music by John Gromada. It starred Tom Hulce as LTJG Kaffee, Megan Gallagher as LCDR JoAnne Galloway, Clark Gregg as Lt. Jack Ross, Stephen Lang as Col Jessep, and Robert Hogan as Capt. Matthew A. Markinson. Replacement actors included Timothy Busfield and Bradley Whitford as Kaffee, Perry King, Michael O’Hare, and Ron Perlman as Jessep, and Pamela Blair as Galloway. Joshua Malinaalso appeared. It ran for 497 performances.

The Broadway production earned Megan Gallagher a 1990 Theatre World Award and a Best Actor nomination for A Few Good Men cast member Tom Hulce at the 44th Tony Awards.

To buy a copy of the play, click here.

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