Monday, March 4, 2013

American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth Honed His Acting While At Philadelphia's Arch Street Theatre

Edward Colimore at the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth's time in Philadelphia.

At Philadelphia's old Arch Street Theatre, he was a "great hit," the newspaper said.

His energetic performances in plays such as Richard III and The Marble Heart drew large crowds. And his dashing good looks - some called him "the handsomest man in America" - made him an instant heartthrob, the matinee idol of his day.

"The audience was very enthusiastic, the ladies joining in the applause," The Inquirer wrote of one appearance.

Before John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, he was a well-known stage star warmly embraced by a city where he had strong ties to his famous thespian family.

With so much attention focused on the 16th president through Civil War sesquicentennial events, new books, the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, and record viewership for the National Geographic Channel's Killing Lincoln, Booth is again drawing an audience, historians say.

From March 2 to 14, 150 years ago, he appeared in several plays at the Arch, including The Merchant of Venice and The Apostate. It was the last time Booth performed in Philadelphia.

You can read the rest of the story via the below link:

1 comment:

  1. A great book to read on this subject is "American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies" by Michael Kauffman.