The Brutes

By Andrew Andrews

Beware the Ides of… April?

Julius Caesar was of course stabbed by Marcus Junius Brutus on the Ides of March.

Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth in the middle of April.

John Wilkes’ father and brother were both named Junius Brutus.

John, Junius and their more accomplished brother Edwin performed together in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesartheir only ever appearance together on stage.


In Casey Wimpee’s The Brutes, Spit & Vigor takes us to the historic Winter Garden Theatre to experience the Booth family rehearsal as it might have been—with John Wilkes (Colt W. Keeney) hinting at his dastardly plans, Edwin (Adam Belvo) tormented by the ghost of their father (Eamon Murphy) and Junius “June” Jr. (Nicholas Thomas) caught in the middle.

Meanwhile, their sister Asia (Sara Fellini) flirts with Mr. J. Seymour (JD Martin) as he portrays Caesar under the jealous eye of her husband, the famous director John Sleeper Clarke (Perri Yaniv).

If that’s not enough tension for you—and by golly, it ought to be—then consider also the brutes: four conspirators (Xandra Leigh Parker, Harlan Short, Becca Musser and Morgan Zipf-Meister) in eerie, bird-like masks with plans to wreak havoc on New York City in an effort to aid the confederacy.

Completing the cast, Pete Oliver serves as Mr. W. “Handsome” Hanley, who in turn serves in any and every capacity necessary to keep the rehearsal—and the family—from falling apart.

On the experimental side, the fast-paced story weaves Shakespeare’s poetry and Wimpee’s verse seamlessly throughout the dialogue, blurring the line between the stories so you’re never quite sure whether what you just heard was part of the script, or the script-within-the-script.

As the titillating Asia—and as the show’s director, as well—Fellini especially brings this theatre-in-the-round to life, narrating the action on the stage—and the stage-within-the-stage—with a spirited, captivating performance.

Check it out for yourself, then come back and let us know what you think of Spit & Vigor’s production.

Your reviews can help others decide whether The Brutes is worth catching for themselves, and your ratings help us help you find future shows you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended The Brutes at New Ohio Theatre in New York on Friday, November 23, 2018 @ 8:00pm to write this review.

Next Up:

Fort Dicks, The Musical

American Theatre of Actors

Read It Now!