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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 anonymous

June 13, 2017 certified reviewer
tagged as: engrossing · History · drama · biography

What I liked

I liked everything about this show. The handsome actor who portrays Booth looks like a cross between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Richard Gere and his performance is mesmerizing. I have been fascinated by the story of Booth and his family for some time and this show did not disappoint me. It was fantastic.

What I didn't like

Sitting in the front row, I thought someone’s cellphone in the back was emitting an annoying static noise but it turned out to be sound effects of crowd noise. Thankfully, it did not last long. It was a little distracting at first and was not really needed because the actor’s brilliant performance had us rapt.

My overall impression

Wow. I feel like I saw the real John Wilkes Booth somehow show up to talk about his life instead of just having watched a play. As portrayed, Booth alternates between being a frightening, racist, Lincoln-hating assassin to being a charismatic, humorous, charming, egotistical actor who loves to brag about himself and regale his audience with stories about his extraordinary life. Actor Stephen Spiegel portrays Booth and effortlessly brings him to life as a complete and complex person. There is a lot of history packed into this show and it is not at the expense of good character development. I was engrossed. The play moves along quite quickly and never lags, seeming much shorter than 80 minutes. I highly recommend this show.

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