Saturday, August 22, 2015

Review of Assassination Theater at The Museum of Broadcast Communications

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Assassination Theater. It was by Hillel Levin and it was directed by Kevin Christopher Fox. It was based on interviews with Zechariah Shelton. It was about the assassination of President Kennedy and it was about the investigation after that. They presented it to you as Hillel Levin (Michael Joseph Mitchell) and Zack Shelton (Mark Ulrich) telling you the story of their interviews that they had. And there are two other actors (Ryan Kitley and Martin Yurek) who play all the other people they interview. I really enjoyed this show. I thought it was very educational. It was like a documentary, but you got to see it in person. It seems like a new kind of theater and I really liked it.

This could have been not a play. It could have been a documentary or a lecture. They did put it into a play form, so they kind of tricked you. It was a play, but not just a regular play. It did have a plot and characters, but the thing was that basically all the characters, you only got to explore them for a little bit because they had to get in all the facts. Sometimes the facts were kind of hard to process for me because there were so many facts thrown at you at once. If you were watching a movie, you could pause it and go look things up. But most grown-ups might have been able to follow it better because they know more about it. I am proud to say that after watching this play, I might know more about the assassination of President Kennedy than most 11 year olds. I think this might have worked a little bit better as a movie, but it wasn't a bad play.

The projections (by Anthony Churchill) helped a lot with the story because they showed the connections between different people in the mob or who were friends with the president. I felt like they added a lot to the story because you could associate pictures with the names which helped a lot with understanding. And also with the projections you got to see the actual assassination happen, which was very very sad and very terrifying. I think it was good that they showed it, though, because then it gave you information so you could make your own hypotheses too. I think I agree with them that it was more than one person that shot him. I think the projections made you feel like you were actually in the story helping with the investigation.

I really think the actors bring a lot to the story because you got to see a portrayal of these people that were actually interviewed and that people actually think might have killed John F. Kennedy. I liked how the costume changes (costumes by Victoria Carot) were very subtle but you still saw that they were a different character. And that helped a lot to associate the name with the costumes with the pictures so you got the whole idea of that person. I thought that Jack Ruby's story was really amazing and interesting, and I would have liked to have seen a whole play about him. I also feel like Mitchell and Ulrich led the show really well and I liked their performances a lot. I thought it was really awesome that they had the person who wrote the show tell you the story even though he was not the actual person who wrote it, but instead an actor playing him. And it made you trust the information a lot more. And the same with the character of Zack Shelton; you believed him because he was the person who came up with the entire idea of the investigation.

People who would like this show are people who like informative projections, educational storytelling, and mysteries. I think that people should definitely go see this show. It is different from most Chicago theater and I thought it was really informative and fun.

Photos: Michael Brosilow

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