BWW Preview: AMADEUS Aspires to Create Work of Enduring Significance
Artistic Director Jonathan Fox and Ensemble Theatre Company are at the starting gate with their 36th season, their 2nd season at the New Vic. The season begins with Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, the award-winning play about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's rising fame as a wunderkind composer-and the rivalry that develops between him and his contemporary, composer Antonio Salieri. The complicated relationship between the two men is fraught with intrigue and betrayal.
When the play begins, up-and-coming composer Mozart is gaining recognition for his musical aptitude. Salieri, already well known and respected for his compositions and operas, is impressed by Mozart's work. When the two men finally meet, Salieri is deeply disappointed by Mozart's gaudy personality and lack of social refinement. Salieri harbors contempt and jealousy for Mozart's obvious genius, feelings that intensify with the two mens' continuing association. Both composers are exceedingly talented, but it's clear that Mozart's virtuosity is unparalleled. Verging on obsession, Salieri goes so far as to denounce God, unwilling to accept that such a divine talent should be bestowed upon such an unworthy, uncouth specimen. Salieri supports Mozart's career under a ruse of camaraderie while simultaneously perpetuating a focused and persistent plot to destroy his reputation. Mozart, meanwhile, creates conflict for himself: elite citizens and members of the court habitually fail to recognize the brilliance of his compositions, which effectively foils his eager attempts to ingratiate himself to the aristocratic circle for which he plays.
Lively and musically rich, Amadeus highlights the masterworks of both Mozart and Salieri. Director Jonathan Fox, who also directed last season's A Little Night Music and Metamorphoses, calls the play "deliciously fun," and brings his excitement for this Tony Award-winning show to Ensemble's production. Amadeus features John Apicella, Zoë Chao, Randy Harrison as Mozart, and Daniel Gerrol as Salieri. A play about music, the frustrations of a life in creativity, and the desire for social and artistic validation, Amadeus is a vibrant tale of two composers aspiring to achieve recognition for their work-and aspiring to create work of enduring significance.
October 9 - October 26 (opening on Saturday, October 11)