See 'Em On Stage to Present THRILL ME: THE LEOPOLD & LOEB STORY
Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story is an award-winning Off-Broadway musical written by Stephen Dolginoff. It tells the true-life tale of famed murderers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. Leopold and Loeb, dubbed the "thrill killers" were tried for murder in 1924 after attempting to commit "the perfect crime."
The crime shocked and horrified the citizens of Chicago and both men were convicted and imprisoned for the crime. The show premiered in 2003, ran Off-Broadway in 2005, and is the second show of See 'Em On Stage's 2017-18 season following their recent production of Shakespeare's bloodiest play, Titus Andronicus.
See 'Em On Stage (Big Easy Award winner for Best Musical of 2016-Lizzie) is known for its bold and innovative productions of Off-Broadway, original, and rarely-produced plays such as Zanna, Don't! (Big Easy Award nominee-Best Musical), Musical of the Living Dead (BroadwayWorld Award winner-Best Director of a Musical), and Flowers in the Attic (BroadwayWorld Award winner-Best Play).
The story of Leopold and Loeb has been told in a variety of ways over the years, including a fictionalized version made famous by Alfred Hitchcock in his 1948 psychological crime thriller Rope. Thrill Me is unique in that it tells the entire story through the eyes of Nathan Leopold who begins recounting the details of the crime at a 1958 parole hearing. This two-man musical is an intimate portrait of the relationship and vividly presents the dangerous bond that these two men form. The story is also a study of the volatile dynamics of a romantic bond and highlights the abuse of control and power often found in unhealthy relationships.
Thrill Me utilizes a variety of contemporary Broadway, pop, and jazz musical styles to tell its story. The score was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and has been hailed by critics. The production is being presented in an intimate way that is similar in style to a traditional chamber opera, with a modern twist. The audience will be immersed in the production by being seated directly on the stage with the actors. Ainsley Matich, the music director for the production, will provide live musical accompaniment on keyboard.
Director Christopher Bentivegna says, "We chose Thrill Me as our second show of the season because it is exactly the type of musical that appeals to us. It has a strong loyal national and international following but is not generally as well-known to local audiences as other oft-presented musicals, so it allows us to give audiences a brand new theatrical experience. It has controversial subject matter, touches upon the sensationalism of violence, and explores the darker side of relationships and humanity, but contains a lot of heart and truly beautiful music."
The production team has had the privilege of being in touch with Stephen Dolginoff who wrote the music, lyrics, and book for the play. Dolginoff says, "After 150 productions in sixteen countries and translated into eleven different languages, I am thrilled that See 'Em On Stage will be bringing Thrill Me to New Orleans this year. I have been fortunate to see many productions over the years, and have even played the role of Nathan a few times myself, and is still amazes me how audiences respond to this story. I have come to learn that the relationship between Leopold and Loeb is apparently very relatable on certain levels. That's what interested me most while writing and composing the story."
The production will star Eli Timm who has previously been featured in See 'Em On Stage's productions of Terminator: The Musical, Toxic Avenger: The Musical, The Lion in Winter, and Titus Andronicus as Bassianus. His co-star is John Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick played the lead role in a recent local production of Hand to God to critical acclaim.
Tickets are $20 for general admission. Discount tickets ($18) are available online or at the door using the code THRILLMEBLESSINGS. Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story will run from November 10-26 (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 8pm) at The AllWays Theatre, 2240 St. Claude Avenue., NOLA. Visit seosaproductioncompany.com for tickets.