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Who Shot A.L.

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THE BRUTES

Written By: Casey Wimpee

Planet Connections Festivity

Theaters at the Clemente

107 Suffolk Street

NYC

Review by Amanda Kavaja

This the story about the Booth family both in and out of the theater, was really compelling and powerful and captured its audience – adept in the bard or not. Casey Wimpee’s juxtaposition of the time periods of the death of two leaders was clever and – even today – quite uniquely done. We, the audience were taken into a very tense time in the mid 1800’s and then to the very night before John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln. We sit and watch this volatile family having a deep political argument throughout Thanksgiving dinner causing the Booth of history to take matters into his own hands and ending it all.

Sara Fellini did an excellent job of portraying Mrs. Asia Booth Clarke, I found her to be remarkably believable. Her character was more of a rebel and Fellini’s liberal use of flirtatiousness made for welcome laughs. Her fine direction was also apparent all through the piece as well.  She lifted the piece with artistry and intrigue.  Samuel Adams was alluring as Seymour. Odd word to describe a man but he looked the part of the ladies’ man drenched in need-to-succeed. Adams played the sarcasm and self-assurance easily. Adam Belvo, as Edwin Booth gave us a great portrayal of a troubled man. We watch him go through his recurring visions of his father making him almost a puppet. His father, Junius Brutus Booth, Sr., played with aplomb by Mick O’Brien, played the alcoholic abuser to the hilt. John Hardin as Booth used his beautiful voice creating his vexation towards the world and towards his family.  Peter Oliver stood out as a narrator and did W. Hanley was the comedic relief in this show.

These actors were amazing, professional and very powerful.  I loved this show and would gratefully see it again.  Directing, Costumes, lighting and especially acting as well as a true look at the mind of not only an actor but a murderer all add up to an interesting and intriguing time well spent in the theater.

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