The Arts Club Theatre & Crow’s Theatre production of True Crime tells the story of convicted con-artist/murderer Christian Gerhartsreiter. Bringing it to the stage is co-creator Torquil Campbell, who plays all the true life characters, including himself. With accompanist, Composer Julian Brown playing in the shadows to the back of the stage, True Crime is essentially a one-man show. The only interactions between the two is during a handful of songs, highlighting Torquil Campbell’s other career as singer-songwriter, both with his band Stars and solo projects.
Christian Gerhartsreiter, aka Clark Rockefeller, aka Christopher C. Crowe, aka Chris Chichester, is a seasoned conman currently incarcerated for kidnapping and murder at San Quentin State Prison. Torquil Campbell breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience how his interest in true crime, and especially the Clark Rockefeller story, became the True Crime that is on stage before us. In character, Campbell making use of the similarities in their appearance, brings Rockefeller to life with snippets of the various long cons perpetuated by the criminal. Then as himself, he relates how this story grabbed hold of him and lead to his interest, meetings and interactions with Rockefeller. Campbell also incorporates his family and various supporting characters to the story. Along the way we learn as much about Campbell as we do about Gerhartsreiter and his cast of cons, as well as all the twists and turns we’d expect from any great mystery-true crime story.
Campbell and director Chris Abraham have written a creative play that makes us examine the personalities that each of us create for different locations and situations. Lying is an underlying theme of the script and again, brings more questions about our own interactions as well as the whole story that’s been presented on stage. Interacting with the audience right from the start of the show immediately draws everyone into the show. Campbell’s quirky storytelling and charm keeps us invested in his quest to bring True Crime to the stage, and keeps us guessing about the outcome right to the end and beyond.
True Crime is now playing at The Arts Club Theatre Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre until February 24, 2019, find show times and tickets online at artsclub.com