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Letter: 'Naked Darrow' a memorable production

'Naked Darrow' a memorable experience

9:05 PM, Mar. 24, 2013  |  Comments
Gary Anderson plays Clarence Darrow in the River District Theatre production, 'Naked Darrow.' He was photographed at the YWCA in Wausau as he rehearsed, Monday, March 11, 2013.
Gary Anderson plays Clarence Darrow in the River District Theatre production, 'Naked Darrow.' He was photographed at the YWCA in Wausau as he rehearsed, Monday, March 11, 2013.
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EDITOR: Those of us who ventured out to the tiny auditorium at the Wausau YWCA recently were treated to a local theatrical gem. Gary Anderson's performance of "Naked Darrow" was simply riveting.

Working from his own script at a simple set of table, chairs and books, Anderson portrayed the famous attorney as he slipped into dementia - randomly recalling his youth, his romances and of course his famous cases.

Those cases were both compelling and engrossing. Anderson established direct eye contact with the small audience - often addressing us as if we were members of the jury. He did not dwell on the much-publicized Scopes case, but instead focused on other proceedings involving the rights of the innocent, of labor, of minorities, and of "lost causes," as he put it. His defense of the black physician Ossian Sweet - falsely accused of murder - was especially intense.

Anderson and his River District Theatre plan to take "Naked Darrow" to an off-Broadway stage in New York City this June. From what we witnessed at the YWCA, it should do well.

Meantime, River District Theatre has plans to stage several other offerings in the Wausau area this spring and summer. An observation: Its themes of injustice and prejudice, based on historical events, ring true today.

Jim Force,

Wausau

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