THEATER REVIEW: “The Tarnation of Russell Colvin” [Berkshire on Stage]

June 16th, 2017, 2:00 pm by Greg
Oliver Wadsworth as one of the many characters in “The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.” Photo: Riikka Olson

Oliver Wadsworth as one of the many characters in “The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.” Photo: Riikka Olson

Review by Gail M. Burns

Russell Colvin either was, or was not, murdered by his brothers-in-law, Stephen and Jesse Boorn, in East Manchester, Vermont, in 1812. If he wasn’t murdered then, he either did, or did not, return to town in 1819 alive and well. The case, in which the Boorn brothers were accused of his murder and sentenced to hang, was well documented at the time, and has continued to garner attention on and off in the 200+ years since. Oliver Wadsworth has not only resurrected several fascinating aspects of this story, but presents them in the style of the popular itinerate solo performers of that day in his 70-minute one-man show, The Tarnation of Russell Colvin.

After a four-performance run kicking off the Dorset Theatre Festival’s 40th anniversary season, Wadsworth is taking the show on the road throughout rural Vermont in the coming weeks. He will be traveling with the beautiful restored and painted Charles Henry theater curtain on loan from Main Street Arts in Saxtons River, Vermont, which is the other “star” of the show. Wadsworth had to rent a school bus to transport the Henry drop from Saxtons River to Dorset, since the long drop could be rolled but not folded…

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