The Originalist, written by John Strand and directed by Arena Stage’s Artistic Director Molly Smith, tells the story of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a polarizing figure that has been on the court since President Ronald Reagan nominated him during the 1980s. The play takes place during the 2012-13 timeframe and is considered to be historical fiction. Starring Edward Gero as Justice Scalia, the show begins with Scalia giving a talk at Georgetown University, where he is interrupted by Cat (played by Kerry Warren), an aspiring liberal grad that would like to become a clerk – for Justice Scalia. As the show progresses, it’s clear that the two are unevenly matched during their sparring matches – in more ways than one. While Gero’s performance as Justice Scalia is stellar, bringing gravitas to the role, Warren falls flat. Despite the uneven performances, The Originalist is a success due to Gero’s convincing portrayal of the conservative lion of the Court.
The Originalist has been extended for an unprecedented second time. The show will now run through May 3 at the Kogod Cradle and will return on May 19, running through May 31. Tickets can be purchased here.
Photo by C. Stanley Photography, courtesy of Arena Stage