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AN EVENING WITH JOHN WILKES BOOTH

solo performance · loyd j. schwartz · Ages 12+ · family friendly · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by TONY FRANKEL

June 21, 2017 stage and cinema

What I liked

Stephen Spiegel is a sexy, smart actor; engaging and commanding — an awesome amount of material to memorize. Historical insight from a different perspective is always great to hear.

What I didn't like

You know something ain’t right in Dixie when an actor has to scream to the point of thrashing his throat. PLEASE DON’T YELL — especially in a house of some 30 or so people. I know Booth had a temper, but c’mon…

The script isn’t really a play as much as a historical record of some kind. It got a bit hard to follow because I couldn’t figure out who Booth was referring to. And why is he talking directly to me? Who am I in this play? An audience member or a guy at a pub or a ghost or..?

The actor’s frock coat turned in on itself, making me want to rush the stage and pull down the hem.

My overall impression

Less a play than an examination of Lincoln’s assassination by the man who killed him. Unfortunately, facts and figures fly at us but little sticks, and Stephen Spiegel (as Booth) needs better direction than that from script writer Lloyd Schwartz. Spiegel travels a lot while spewing out over 80 minutes of dialogue; I wish he would just plant himself more often (I think he’s working too hard). The play is simply too much info with little emotional connection.

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To Richard!

A world premiere from Hollywood and Edinburgh Fringe award winner Jessica Durdock Moreno. A white lady and a Latino man cross paths in the woods of Connecticut. Chaos ensues. Hilarity abounds. There may be hugging. Discount code HUG for $10 tickets.