Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Look At Mudgett

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The Alchemist Theatre continues its "year of fear" at April's end as it opens House of Horrors--a Chronicle of H.H. Holmes. Aaron Kopec's stage exploration into the life of the killer featured in the novel Devil in the White City makes its return to the stage at the end of the month in a production that is considerably streamlined from the original, which appeared onstage some time ago.


Kopec's last look at the killer was staged under the title Murder Castle. Kopec's latest work has been scaled back to a two-hour runtime. The cast, as near as I can make out is completely different. It frames the story of one of America's first serial killers in a streamlined exploration that peers into speculation on his past. 


In contrast to modern serial killers, we don't know a whole lot about the early pathology of Mudgett--the man who killed so many in his hotel during the World's Colombian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893. Kopec will be exploring the childhood of a man with an abusive alcoholic father and a devout methodist mother. Playing the young man will be promising you actor Sebastian Weigman, who made a memorable impression in Outliers at the Alchemist a little while ago. 


More known for comedy than anything else, Lee Rowley will play the man as a fuly-formed adult killer. Nate Press, who played the character in the previous production, was also primarily known for comedy prior to the role, so this will be a similar challenge for Rowley. This particular look at the life of the man who would become known as H.H. Holmes features a cast also including Liz Whitford, Anna Figlesthaler and Sammich Dittloff. 


House of Horrors--a Chronicle of H.H. Holmes runs April 25th - May 11th at the Alchemist Theatre. For ticket reservations, visit Alchemist Theatre online. 

 

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