by Tim Errickson · September 8, 2014
Playwright Tim Errickson is high on Isaac Rathbone's new play The March of the Bonus Army.
When people ask me about great Indie Theater shows (more often it’s “What’s so great about Indie Theater?”), I talk about two of the best plays I have ever seen on any stage…Mac Rogers’ Universal Robots and Mariah MacCarthy's The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret. Both of these plays (and the initial productions I saw them in) combined all the right elements for me: text, images, musicality, depth and courageous ideas. Those two shows now have company in my Hall of Fame.
The March of the Bonus Army by Isaac Rathbone is just that unbelievably good.
It’s an amazing story of men and women fighting for what is rightfully theirs. It’s the story of a country that’s always on to the next big thing, and sometimes forgets to finish what it starts. And it’s the story of human pride, of a government that’s defensively lashing back against U.S. soldiers who claim they aren’t being treated fairly after they selflessly won a World War. The story is told with grace, humanity, music, and a master dramatist’s deft touch. And it is moving, heartbreaking, inspiring, insulting, and ultimately so very heroic.
The production is exceptional, and the director, as in Mariah and Mac’s plays before this, uses the cast of actors brilliantly to give the audience a full world on stage. Actors like to be challenged, and Bonus Army gives its cast of six ample room to portray the heights and depths of the human experience.
It’s a wonderful play, I cannot say enough about it. It’s the kind of play that makes me believe again that what we create matters.