I have been exchanging messages with a fan of The West Wing who maintains a "Live Journal" blog and who has seen an early performance of
at the La Jolla Playhouse. Based on these exchanges, I’m starting to get some sense of how the play balances the tricky imperatives of drama with the prickly details of history:
One thing I have to point out that they are (Sorkin and McAnuff) not interested in telling just the history/facts in this play (but I have to admit, in the beginning it’s too descriptive for a theatrical play). It’s about "the race between two visionaries (Farnsworth and Sarnoff) to lay claim to the invention of the television." There is a great dialogue between them at 11 o’clock scene, but it never happened in the real life. I don’t think people who will come to see the show are planning to get a quick history lesson from this show. They (at least I am) are interested in how the story is being told and how the two stories are wove together.
I don’t know if the "bigrivermusical," the individual who hosts this blog, intended for it to become a focal point of any debate re: fact-v-fiction, but he is the first to report any of the details of the play, so I hope he doesn’t mind the added traffic.