Lindberg Comes To The Fringe

"Fake News" and "America First" may be part of the current political news, but this is not the first time these terms were tossed about. A world-famous celebrity may be leading a political movement, but that has happened before. Racism and xenophobia may be finding popular acceptance today, but these ideas were pushed years ago. In fact, these elements from today's world can all be found in the life of the famous pilot Charles Lindbergh and they are brought to life again in "Charles Lindbergh: A Life of Flight" a one-man show with Chris Jackson, as the pilot, being presented at this year's Tampa Fringe Festival with performances May 4 through May 12.

At twenty-five Charles Lindbergh was the most famous person in the world. His solo flight across the Atlantic was an act of bravery, skill and determination. He was again famous when involved in what newspapers called "The Crime of the Century." He escaped the spotlight for many years but returned as the public face of The America First movement. Few lives have whipsawed from such highs to such lows and been filled with such contradictions and unanswered questions. "Lindbergh: A Life in Flight" draws on newspaper accounts, speeches, court records, and autobiographies to tell the troubling story of one of America's heroes.

"Charles Lindbergh: A Life of Flight" will be a revelation to many who know Lindbergh only as the first man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. While most will have heard of the famous kidnapping, they will not know the details and mystery that still surrounds that event. And even more, his darker side is hidden to most. His anti-Semitism, his championing of eugenics, and other details from his private life remain forgotten.

This one-man show presents Lindbergh as he drifts in his own mind from his anti-war America First Committee speeches to the kidnapping and to the famous flight that made him a true American hero.

Chris Jackson, Tampa Bay Area performer, has wanted to perform a one-man show for many years. He and James Rayfield, author and director, cast about for a subject but never hit on a subject or character that worked for them. Rayfield said, "The current political situation brought up so many topics that echoed the past that I was drawn to looking for moments when this had happened before. The more I read about Lindbergh the more fascinated I became with this complex person. Chris seemed almost ideal to portray the young pilot."

"Charles Lindbergh: A Life of Flight" will be performed as part of the Tampa Fringe Festival on May 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 12 at the HCC Studio Theatre in Ybor City. For specific times visit tampafringe.org.



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