Hauptmann | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Hauptmann 

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Denis O'Hare's performance in the title role of John Logan's Hauptmann was one of the finest accomplishments of the past theater season. As the accused (and, Logan maintains with plenty of evidence to back him, wrongly convicted) kidnapper-murderer of the Lindbergh baby, O'Hare turns Bruno Hauptmann's very commonness into a source of mystery and enigma, taking total control of the stage with his compact physical presence and his gentle yet riveting intensity. Beyond O'Hare's remarkable portrayal, Logan's play is a superb performance piece for the whole ensemble of actors (keenly directed by Terry McCabe), who work together to evoke not just a grisly crime story but the haunting image of an era--the 1930s, strangely familiar yet eerily distant--in which the mere juxtaposition of the small, dark immigrant Hauptmann with the tall, blond all-American hero Lindbergh served as evidence of the former's guilt. Produced by the Stormfield Theatre, Hauptmann is traveling to Scotland in August to represent Chicago in the Edinburgh International Arts Festival's fringe theater showcase. To raise money for the trip, Stormfield is presenting a three-performance revival of Hauptmann this weekend. It's well worth seeing, and well worth supporting. At the Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted, June 13-15. Saturday, 2 PM; Sunday and Monday, 8 PM. $20; 348-4000.

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