Hauptmann | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge George Seegebrecht and the cast of Hauptmann

George Seegebrecht and the cast of Hauptmann

Paul Grigonis

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 10 2016
Price: $10-$29
The 1986 premiere production of Hauptmann was a very big deal. The critics raved and two illustrious careers were launched—those of writer John Logan and star Denis O'Hare. Now the original director, Terry McCabe, is commemorating the auspiciousness of it all with a 30th-anniversary staging that's thoroughly competent but fails to demonstrate what the fuss was about. Set in a prison cell in 1936, the play introduces us to Bruno Hauptmann, the man executed for killing the Lindbergh baby, allowing him to tell his story and argue his innocence. We're meant to find him compelling, if not necessarily trustworthy. But in George Seegebrecht's performance, he rarely moves beyond a hapless, bewildered victimhood. The lack of any competing aspects in his character kills any mystery and dulls out the show. Things only get interesting in a courtroom scene, when the prosecuting attorney (Brian Pastor) hectors Hauptmann on the stand. —Tony Adler

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