A portrait of the tempestuous relationship of the Booth family: John Wilkes Booth and his brothers, Edwin and Junius Jr. More…
John Wilkes Booth, a loyal Confederate, is joining his Union family in New York City in November 1864, on the Thanksgiving before the one and only performance in which the three brothers ever shared a professional stage, and before John Wilkes was permanently etched into history as the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Beliefs are challenged, histories intertwine, and deep family ties are strained and broken. Though set in 1864, the story could be set in our current time, in terms of civil strife, families torn over issues, and a country sharply divided.
“A new smart but exhaustingly dense play...Despite this well-packaged setup, the problem is that, across the work’s dense 75 minutes, none of the characters shift from their starting positions...In its current form, 'The Brutes' is rather long on Stoppardian erudition and metaphor and less invested in how the siblings impact one another...Fellini, doubling as director, produces a lively variety of stage pictures in the small in-the-round space.” Full Review
"It would seem potentially well matched to both this time of year and our foully antagonistic national mood. But even when the Booths sit down together for Thanksgiving dinner, and Wilkes, as they call him, provokes a fight about the war, this labored, fragmented play remains frustratingly inert, weighed down by a surfeit of story...The paradox of this production, performed in the round on an almost bare stage, is that despite the closeness of the action, the play itself feels remote." Full Review
for a previous production “It is challenging for an actor to breathe credible life into...an average individual. Accomplishing this in a period piece with a little Shakespearean dialogue...is a lofty endeavor for any thespian. This cast rose to the occasion...While there is humor peppered throughout, this is a dark and heavy play...Between Wimpee’s script...coupled with the exceptional acting, it felt as if we were transported to the 1800’s and witnessing the brothers Booth and the tormented ghost of their father.” Full Review
for a previous production “This the story about the Booth family both in and out of the theater, was really compelling and powerful and captured its audience...Wimpee’s juxtaposition of the time periods...was clever and uniquely done...Fellini lifted the piece with artistry and intrigue...Actors were amazing, professional, and very powerful. I loved this show and would gratefully see it again...An interesting and intriguing time well spent in the theater.” Full Review
for a previous production “Wimpee brings us a play that follows the once famous Booth family and their stormy relationship...Fellini’s casting was as stunning as her production scheme. The acting was very believable, and pulled the audience into the story...The lion’s share of the play is written in Shakespearean language, which can be tricky for those not used to its sound. Overall it was a fun and interesting night of theater.” Full Review
See it if You are interested in the history of the Booth family and the mind of Wilkes-Booth prior to The Lincoln Assasination
Don't see it if You do not want to see a show based on the history of the Booth family. Do not like shows off off Broadway.
See it if you are interested in theater history and want to see a play about the famous - and infamous - Booth family.
Don't see it if you are looking for a straightforward drama as the some of the scenes - especially those involving “the brutes” - can be confusing.
See it if you like to support small, new theatre companies. Or if you are Booth-obsessed. Or if you have friends in the cast. Otherwise, don't
Don't see it if you expect the script to make sense. It is ambitous and ultimately, unsuccessful. The acting and staging aren't much better. A weak show.
See it if good acting especially adam belvo; historical plays
Don't see it if if you dont like fragmented confusing plays....the actors did the best they could with a mediocre script
See it if you are fully in tune with the history of the brothers and want a different take on a part of their lives with some good acting.
Don't see it if you want any peace-this is a romp from beginning to end with shouting, shooting, stomping and bright lights that often make you squint.
See it if you have an interest in the history of the Civil War and theater history surrounding the Booth family.
Don't see it if you are interested in a more linear plot, traditional staging.
See it if you want to see a snippet of theater history when the three Booth brothers share the stage.
Don't see it if you like a linear plot and well defined characters (the story line is somewhat random which made it difficult to follow).
See it if You like words. A rather murky comparison of the 2 greatest actors of their age in signature role who happen to be father and son.
Don't see it if You are fussy about Shakespeare. The Shakespearean sections do not soar. you want a big production
See it if to see a sparsely staged but overstuffed story of the Booths prepping for a benefit & dealing w/family feuds & the charged politics of 1864.
Don't see it if you're not interested in 19th C theatre history; you expect to find any heart or motivation beneath the densely packed play of ideas.
See it if you want to learn some history of the Booth Family brothers (Junius Jr., Edwin and John Wilkes).
Don't see it if you do not enjoy plays that have the actors screaming their lines and the plot jumping all over the place.
See it if You REALLY love Julius Cæsar (the play, not the Roman dictator (spoiler alert:he dies)). You like well acted shows that aren't well written.
Don't see it if You need a coherent plot (there are ghosts and a framing device in this that are largely unneeded) or great writing. Neither are found here.
See it if You like really good acting. I thought the actors did their best with the material they were provided.
Don't see it if You like plays to have a story that is not impossible to follow. I found the story very confusing.
See it if You want to see A+ acting. The cast was really great, especially Belvo, Fellini Keeney and Martin. If you can follow fast dialogue.
Don't see it if You struggle to follow interweaving plot lines or don't know a lot about the Civil War.
See it if You like history. You like Shakespeare and great Shakespeareans. You work with your siblings. You appreciate that all the word's a stage
Don't see it if You're hard of hearing. You dislike wit for its sake. You won't contemplate the repetitiveness of history or the necessity of theater
See it if you like history, but don't care if the facts are correct. This show required outside research after for me to see the connections.
Don't see it if you hate when a show has less than half original writing. (Shakespeare was the predominant writer of the evening).
See it if Wimpee's well conceived tale of the Confederacy told thru the Booth acting dynasty Good acting esp Belvo's Edwin & O'Brien's Julius Sr Booth
Don't see it if Plot lines strained & confusing requiring patient sorting thru Works best when dealing w/back stage histronics of an all Booth performance
See it if you're familiar with and enjoy Shakespeare. There were enough funny moments to keep the performance entertaining.
Don't see it if you find it difficult to intensely focus on dialogue. It is rather taxing.
See it if You have some familiarity with the Booth family & know your Shakespeare references. You enjoy plays based on historical figures.
Don't see it if You want a play w/a strong POV: I was unsure what it was trying to say. You want insight into the Booths: this doesn't go beyond the basics.
See it if You are super familiar with Shakespeare and can follow fast-paced, convoluted plot lines.
Don't see it if You want to see character development, learn more about the Booth family, or have trouble keeping track of multiple plot lines.
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