Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Silver Spring Stage Never the Sinner

By • Jul 4th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Silver Spring Stage’s Never the Sinner [MP3 4:16 1.2MB].

Laura: Friday evening we saw the opening night performance of Silver Spring Stage‘s Never the Sinner in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mike: Never the Sinner is a play by John Logan. It takes place in 1924 Chicago. There has just been a brutal murder and two rich college students, Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb, have been accused of the crime. We get to learn more about the pair’s thinking as we learn about their strategy for their defense. Clarence Darrow is their attorney and he pleads for their lives.

Laura: This was a pretty serious show. It was well done, well acted. The effects were good. The costuming was well done. Everything about it I really enjoyed.

Mike: This was a very well performed show. The nice pacing of the show, the quick changes of some of the performers from character to character was very nicely done. I think the whole thing worked together quite well. It was a fascinating glimpse into the first trial of the century.

Laura: Nathan Leopold Jr., one of the young men charged in the murder case, was played by Ryan Manning. He did an excellent job. He was a little bit more hyper of the two. He was more afraid of what may happen, although he seemed to go along with his friend with whatever he wanted to do. He was the spoiled little rich kid who thought he was invincible. As the trial progressed he began to realize that he could actually go to jail or even be hanged. I liked his expressions so I really enjoyed his performance.

Mike: Richard Loeb was played by Sam Ludwig. He did a really good job as well. The sense when the two of them were together of we can outsmart anything and we are supermen. They had that attitude down really well. I liked the scene when they were reenacting the crime by driving around the city. They had a little bit of fear in their faces and at the same time they were plotting and saying, “Yes let’s do it now.” It was a very effective scene, very dramatic.

Laura: All of the actors and actresses did a good job. They all played multiple roles. The fast costume changes really added to the effect. In the director’s notes it was brought out the role the media played. I personally didn’t feel like they were as mean and hounding as the media is today. I think today they go after a news story a lot more aggressively than they did back then. That was maybe the only criticism I had is I think the media could have actually been a little bit meaner.

Mike: The set was a very nice design. It was designed by Bruce Starr. There were a couple different areas of the stage that were used sometime as a dugout for a prison baseball league. Other times it was the judges bench and it worked out very nicely.

Laura: The multimedia/special effects I thought were very well done. They were designed by Clare Flood. They had images that came up on the screen a kind of a backdrop. It had the news stories and headlines of the news stories during this trial of the century. I thought it was very good. It made it very much more real and very believable.

Mike: There were a lot of different subtexts to this show and it could have really dragged out. As it was the show was about two hours long with one intermission.

Laura: Never the Sinner is playing through July 22. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 with a Sunday matinee on the 8th and 22nd at 2 pm at the Woodmoor Shopping Center in Silver Spring Maryland. This show had a lot of adult themes and situations, definitely not a kid’s show. I would recommend upper high school and above to see it because it really has some mature themes, but over all I thought it was a good show.

Mike: This show will make you think a bit about the death penalty. It will make you think about privilege and about attitude. I suggest you go see this show.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Nathan Leopold, Jr.: Ryan Manning
  • Richard Loeb: Sam Ludwig
  • Robert Crowe: David Gorsline
  • Clarence Darrow: Craig Miller
  • Reporter, Dr. Bowman, Germaine Reinhardt: Robin Covington
  • Reporter, Dr. White, Sgt. Gortland: Chris Curtis
  • Reporter, Bailiff, Dr. Hulbert, Ass’t. State Attorney: Jacob Yeh


  • Producer: Pauline Griller Mitchell
  • Director: Michael Kharfen
  • Stage Manager: Megan Dreisbach
  • Technical Director: Don Slater
  • Set Designer: Bruce Starr
  • Master Carpenter: John Buckley
  • Assisted by: Bruce Starr
  • Set Painting: Bruce Starr
  • Lighting Designer: Don Slater
  • Assistant Lighting Designer: Heather Leigh Burns
  • Sound Designer: Kevin Garrett
  • Set Dressing & Properties: Sonya Okin
  • Costume Coordinator: Eric Scerbo
  • Hair Design: Clare Flood
  • Make-up: The Cast
  • Multimedia/Special Effects: Clare Flood
  • Light & Sound Operators: Steve Deming, Kevin Garrett
  • Photographer: Neil Edgell, Jr.
  • Program: Leta Hall
  • Program Cover Design: Audrey Cefaly
  • Subscription Brochure: Audrey Cefaly
  • Artistic Liaison: Michael Sandner
  • Opening Night Party: Andrea Spitz Greenleaf, Pauline Griller-Mitchell
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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