When you enter the Gamm’s theater these nights you will be overrun with blasting American music. It’s almost punishing in its constant drive, its need to be toned down. But, finally, the noise goes away and a play called “JQA” takes over, carefully and smartly, moving you through 90 minutes of looking at our nation, good and bad, winning and losing.

“JQA” stands, of course for John Quincy Adams, a man of many rights, many faults. Playwright Aaron Posner has attempted to look at America for its wonderful good things and its fateful bad ones, too.

“Is America great and needed?” he says. Yes. But it’s awful too. From the beginning, a new nation is presented as changeable -- wonderful at times, awful at others.

At one moment you are told of the power and drive of America. But then, in will come the times of slavery, of human beings being treated as less than human. All of this is done with a cast of four, two men, two women who race through times of bright delight, terrible wrongs. “JQA” will have you proud and horrified at once.

But there are no worries about the speed of this play. Director Tony Estrella along with Tyler Dobrowsky never let the pace drop. And the cast, Normand Beauregard, Johnathan Higgenbotham, Candace Brown and Helena Tafuri are filled with energy and passion.

At one time they bring you knowledge and expression. In others they are heartbreaking in their needs, their desires.

One thing: “JQA” is probably not for everyone. The use of foul language is consistent. The “F word” is spoken often. On the way out, I heard some theatergoers putting that down. “Not needed,” they said, in a work of great things in a nation that we all know.

But “JQA” goes on, presenting the past, and asking about the future. It’s a play that will allow us all to think of our great – and sometimes not so great – nation. It’s all about our country, and about us.

“JQA” continues at the Gamm Theatre through November 17. Bill Gale reviews theater and dance for The Public’s Radio.