Gary Anderson gets under famous attorney's skin in Naked Darrow

Gary Anderson as Clarence Darrow.

Gary Anderson as Clarence Darrow.

Three years after presenting Naked Darrow, his one-man examination of Clarence Darrow's life and legacy, Gary Anderson is back in the Twin Cities with a revamped and revised edition of the play.

This time around, Anderson has moved from Park Square Theatre to Illusion, where he will present a limited run of the show over the next week and a half. While the basic heart of the piece remains, plenty of work has been done to it over that time.

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[jump] Part of that is due to additional material that has come out about the attorney, who defended accused murderers, labor leaders, and a teacher on trial for teaching evolution. Darrow also had his downside, including multiple trials for jury tampering.

Several new books have been published about Darrow in recent years, which gave Anderson additional info to include. "There was material I wasn't sure I wanted to know," Anderson says. "The more I learned, the more I knew there needed to be a new version."

"I wouldn't call him an anti-hero, but Darrow was more complex than I thought," Anderson continues. "The script has grown more raw. I enjoy it."

Anderson is working with Illusion's Michael Robins to put this version of the play, which had a recent Off-Broadway production, on its feet.

"He's a very theatrical character," Robins says about Darrow. "Locally, we have Randall Tietjen, who did work on unearthing his letters [for In the Clutches of the Law: Clarence Darrow's Letters]. Clarence Darrow just seemed to be on the radar."

A variety of post-show talkbacks and other events are planned for the run, including a talk with Tietjen for Thursday's opening night.

Coming to the Illusion has not only given the Wisconsin-based Anderson a chance to continue to work on the script, but to also explore a new staging.

"This is the largest stage I've ever done this on. He was a lion of the courtroom. Now I have room to track my prey. I can lie in wait," Anderson says.


Naked Darrow
Thursday-April 12
Illusion Theater

8th floor, Cowles Center For Dance and Performing Arts

528 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
For tickets and more information, call 612.339.4944 or visit online.