Stalking the Bogeyman OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Jeremy Daniel



  • TM


Opening Night:
September 29, 2014
November 9, 2014

Theater: New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street, New York, NY, 10019


In the spring of 2003, David Holthouse was a successful, award-winning journalist. But no one knew that he had two dark secrets—first, that 25 years ago he was the victim of a violent rape, and second, that he was quietly planning the ultimate revenge on the man responsible.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Stalking the Bogeyman

    Damaged for Life, and Inexorably Bent on Revenge

    Neil Genzlinger

    October 2, 2014: The seats at New World Stages are comfortable enough as theater seats go, but you’re not comfortable for a second watching a show currently playing there, Stalking the Bogeyman, the riveting true story of one man’s search for his rapist. The play is based on an article that the journalist David Holthouse published in 2004 and later adapted into a story for the radio program This American Life. The trip from page and airwaves to the stage has only deepened it, thanks to several especially fine performances in the production, adapted and directed by Markus Potter. Roderick Hill plays Mr. Holthouse, who does not mince words when describing what happened to him in 1978, when he was 7. His parents (Kate Levy and Murphy Guyer), newly relocated to Anchorage, are befriended by another couple, here called the Crawfords (Roxanne Hart and John Herrera), and it is their son, a tightly wound 17-year-old jock, who attacks him.

  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Stalking the Bogeyman

    Stalking the Bogeyman Based on the article by David Holthouse, Adapted and directed by Markus Potter

    Raven Snook

    September 29, 2014: Sometimes the medium changes everything. Journalist David Holthouse’s real-life saga of surviving childhood rape and his plan to exact violent revenge on his attacker, so compelling in print and on This American Life, loses much of its potency translated to stage. Structured in linear flashbacks connected by narration lifted from Holthouse’s original article, Stalking the Bogeyman tries to flesh out his harrowing tale.

  • NEW YORK OBSERVER REVIEW OF Stalking the Bogeyman

    potent stuff that never soft soaps the issues and leaves you stunned

    Rex Reed

    October 1, 2014: Don’t miss Stalking the Bogeyman a dynamic play of sobering substance at New World Stages. The subject is the harrowing, life-altering effects of shame and self-doubt on a man who was brutally raped at the age of 7 and his 25-year obsession with searching for and confronting his abuser. Roderick Hill, an excellent actor with unexpected power hiding behind an appealing air of sensitivity, captures attention with his first line: “This time last year I started plotting to kill a man … I had a gun, and a silencer, and a plan.” Based on the true experiences of writer David Holthouse, shaped into a play and directed by Markus Potter, it has the nutritional value of mother’s milk and the bitter aftertaste of absinthe. In 1978, as a kid in Anchorage, Alaska, David admired the neighbor’s son, a husky 17-year-old quarterback, surrogate big brother and occasional babysitter, who taught him to drink scotch, do pushups and try other manly stuff. One night while their parents were playing cribbage upstairs, the older boy lured the naïve kid down to the basement where he cruelly sodomized him, leaving the second grader baffled, bleeding and traumatized. He no longer believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, but David was convinced his attacker was the real, honest-to-goodness Bogeyman.

  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Stalking the Bogeyman

    David Holthouse's real-life tale of sexual assault and attempted murder gets a staging off-Broadway

    Zachary Stewart

    September 29, 2014: Deep below midtown Manhattan, Theater 5 of New World Stages has been transformed into a 1970s suburban basement. A bright orange armchair sits strategically downstage of the cheap wooden shelves that occupy every wall. Those shelves are cluttered with Star Wars figurines, old trophies, and cassette tapes. Stage right, a pilfered "neighborhood watch" sign stands sentry over the room. It's the kind with a red mark barring entry to a shadowy stranger wearing a broad black hat and cloak. Stalking the Bogeyman is not about that kind of villain. It's based on journalist David Holthouse's startling confession in the pages of Westword that as an adult, he seriously planned to kill the man who raped him when he was seven years old. His rapist wasn't a stranger in a trench coat offering candy from his car window, but the teenage son of a family friend. This faithful (yet overly simplified) stage adaptation rests on an uncomfortable truth: Sexual violence is much likelier to come from a friend or family member.

  • HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW OF Stalking the Bogeyman

    Markus Potter's 'Stalking the Bogeyman'

    David Finkle

    September 29, 2014: When he was 7 and his family was making new friends after relocating in Anchorage, David Holthouse (Roderick Hill) was raped by Nathan Crawford (Erik Heger), the 17-year-old son of a couple to whose home the Holthouses had been invited for the evening. Not only did David carry the effects of the criminal act from then on, he determined early in his adulthood that he was going to murder Nathan, who'd become for him the titular figure in Stalking the Bogeyman, adapted by Markus Potter from the story Holthouse told on NPR's This American Life. The stage version, at New World Stages, couldn't be more moving from the moment Hill as David steps front and center to announce his plan and to explain why he's developed it as he goes on to tell his story in flashback.



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