Hauptmann Controversy Remembered in Compelling Stage Production

Photo by Justin Kirkeberg.

Photo by Justin Kirkeberg.

In 1934 Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested for the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the baby son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It is still referred to as the Crime of the Century. In 1935 he was tried and convicted. In 1936 he was put to death in the electric chair.

John Logan’s play, Hauptmann, has been compellingly staged by director Justin Kirkeberg for Candid Theater Company at the People’s Center. It’s another fine example of the crisply electric ensemble work that Candid has come to be known for.

Photo by Justin Kirkeberg.

Photo by Justin Kirkeberg.

Bruno was a German immigrant with a criminal past who fled Europe in the years following the First World War. It’s a huge role, impeccably and absorbingly portrayed by Aaron Henry, whose German accent is well spoken. Bruno is continually pouring out information hoping the audience will believe in his innocence. Logan has written the piece so that it’s difficult to buy into either side. To this day some think Bruno was framed by the feds. Others think he was guilty.

Billie Jo Konze brings touching vulnerability to wife Anna Hauptmann. Jonathon Dull brings a splendid sense of bearing and restraint to Lindbergh. Kate Zehr is striking as Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The trial scenes are sharply served by Elohim Pena and Kevin Fanshaw. Matt Saxe beguiles as prosecuting New Jersey Attorney General David Wilentz.

Through Nov. 23
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