Group Rep’s powerful ‘The Cape and the Klan’ examines fear and racism

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Superman takes on KKK in NoHo though Sun., March 18

Timely in its depiction of bigotry and racism, the world premiere of The Cape and the Klan employs real events to spotlight the ugly dark shadows behind the Ku Klux Klan.

Blending powerful acting and thoughtful writing, the show sadly reveals how “traditional values” can be usurped by the morally degenerate to breed hate and fear.

In 1951, as the Civil Rights Movement is about to get underway, a solo reporter (Doug Haverty) goes undercover to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan, eventually taking his story to the producers of the radio show The Adventures of Superman. The “Man of Steel” brings hard-hitting justice to the fight against racism in a multi-episode arc, modeling righteous behavior for impressionable children.

Writers Tin Penavic and Ted Ryan pen heartfelt, passionate speeches in their cinematic text, revealing how demagogues achieve power through preaching prejudice rather than equality and peace.

Director Stan Mazin crafts an energetic production full of emotional swings and poignancy, drawing fine performances from his cast, particularly in the radio show reproductions, which really help sell the story. Production work is first rate, particularly the beautiful costumes.

The radio actors bring enthusiasm and great use of vocal inflection and expressiveness to their performances, especially Bruce Nehlsen and Michael James Thatcher, who also performs sound effects. Matthew Hoffman brings world-weary, compassionate complexity to show producer Bob, while Bix Barnaba’s seemingly friendly Sam hides repulsive, vindictive attitudes.

The Cape and the Klan brings an emotional, articulate, and visceral look at the ugliness of racism and hatred, revealing the moral bankruptcy of those who resent messages of love and acceptance while clinging to a hate-filled past.

The Group Rep presents the world premiere of “The Cape and the Klan” Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 7pm through March 11 at Upstairs at the Group Rep located at 10900 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets are $20; $15 for students and seniors with ID. The theatre hosts a talkback with cast and staff on Saturday, February 24. For reservations and information call (818) 763-5990 or to purchase tickets visit


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