Leopold and Loeb’s murder trial became a media sensation in real life, even if the details were unprintable at the time.  The lovers- murderers angle was turned into a homoerotic game in Hitchcock’s Rope and outright sexual acting out in Swoon.
Evan and BrianEvan & Brian Philly actors Evan Jonigkeit and Brian Kurtas are tackling the collective psyche of notorious 20s lovers in John Logan’s drama Never the Sinner opening this week at the Adrienne Theater.   Kurtas jumped into rehearsals late, taking over for another actor, said he understands why this gruesome story still intrigues.“I think what is fascinating regardless of what kind of relationship this is, heterosexual or homosexual relationship, is that these boys do what they do for love. Leopold was treated as such an outcast; Loeb was the only person who would talk to him.”

Jonigkeit scored critical praise starring in Mauckingbird’s very gay version of The Misanthrope and the British boys’ prep school version of Shakespeare’s R & J. Working with Kurtas on the chemistry of Leopold and Loeb has been a different challenge for the versatile actor.

“The language of Moliere and Shakespeare kind of gets rid of the guess work. This play is different because it’s so naturalistic. The character is expressive, but with a lot less information. It’s a phenomenal part to try to capture. He’s a villain, but more than that he is also a child.” he said.

Jonigkeit said that Brian has been a real trooper letting “me throw him different stuff; he’s making daring choices in this role. My thought on why these characters are so interesting because they really need each other and they are misfits. The extreme measures in which they express those needs is so bizarre…that is fascinating to try to figure out. It’s thrilling really. Peter Reynolds the director keeps telling us in notes ‘Don’t be nice.’”