A.C.T. to Present THE SUIT, 4/23-5/18
From legendary theatrical innovators Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne, and Franck Krawczyk comes the internationally acclaimed music-infused production, The Suit. Fresh from sold-out runs in New York, Paris, and London, The Suit is a tragic tale of betrayal and resentment adapted from the short story of the same name by South African writer, Can Themba. When a husband catches his beautiful wife in the arms of her lover, the lover flees-but leaves his suit behind. As her penance, the husband makes his wife "treat the suit as an honored guest," to accompany her wherever she goes. From the dinner table to walks around the neighborhood, the suit becomes a whimsical yet cruel reminder of her infidelity. Traditional African melodies interweave with jazz standards to underscore this simple yet surprising tale, set in Apartheid-era Johannesburg. Reminiscent of The Scarlet Letter and overflowing with the same inventiveness as The Overcoat and Brief Encounter, The Suit features innovative staging that integrates virtuosic musicians directly into the action, making Brook's haunting production of this heartbreaking fable sing. The Suit will perform at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco) April 23-May 18, 2014. Press night is Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Tickets ($20 -$120) are on sale now and may be purchased online at act-sf.org or by calling 415.749.2228.
Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff: "Last spring I went to Brooklyn Academy of Music to see The Suit, with no agenda other than to delight in the work of one of my favorite artists. Seventy-five minutes later, I rushed backstage and, in the best French I could muster, told the stage manager and company manager from the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord that I wanted to bring the piece to San Francisco next season. The Suit is magical in the most elemental and purely theatrical way. With almost no scenery or props, three actors and three remarkable musicians conjure a South African world of love and infidelity, of loyalty and revenge, that is pungent and sweet and sad and surprising. The Suit reminded me of how I felt when I first read Brook's seminal work The Empty Space-that all it takes is a good story on a bare stage to captivate an audience and help them imagine a whole world. I am so honored to have a chance to celebrate this bold new work by Marie-Hélène Estienne and Peter Brook-another international adventure for the A.C.T. community"
The cast for The Suit includes Jordan Barbour, Ivanno Jeremiah, and Nonhlanhla Kheswa. Musicians for The Suit are Arthur Astier (guitar), Mark Christine (piano), and Mark Kavuma (trumpet). The creative team for The Suit includes assistant director Rikki Henry, lighting designer Philippe Vialatte, and costume designer Oria Puppo.
A.C.T. will offer numerous InterACT events-many of which are presented free of charge-in association with The Suit that will give patrons opportunities to get closer to the action while making a whole night out of their evening at the theater. Visit act-sf.org/interact to learn more about subscribing to these events throughout the season:
Bike to the Theater Night
Wed., April 23
Providing a greener alternative to theater transportation, A.C.T. and the San Francisco Bike Coalition offer free valet bike parking, as well as a special discount on tickets, for these select performances.
Tue., April 29, 5:30 p.m.
Get inside the artistic process at this lively preshow discussion with A.C.T. artistic staff.
Theater on the Couch:
Fri., May 2, following the 8 p.m. performance
Led by Dr. Mason Turner, chief of psychiatry at San Francisco's Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, this exciting postshow discussion series explores the minds, motives, and behaviors of the characters and addresses audience questions.
Tue., May 6, 7 p.m. | Sun., May 11, 2 p.m. | Wed., May 14, 2 p.m.
After the show, stick around for a lively Q&A session with the actors and artists who create the work onstage.