Full Cast Announced For Classic Stage Company's New Production Of THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI, A TIMELESS ALLEGORY ON THE RISE OF FASCISM
Classic Stage Company (CSC; Artistic Director, John Doyle) announces the full cast for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Bertolt Brecht's unsettlingly timeless work, which kicks off CSC's 2018-2019 season on October 30, with rehearsals beginning this week. Directed by John Doyle, this comical yet disturbing play from one of the greatest political satirists of all time follows a Depression-era Chicago mobster, Arturo Ui, who, with the help of his henchmen, manipulates and murders his way to totalitarian rule of the cauliflower trade. Society, of course, fails to act upon his "resistible rise."
Four-time Tony Award nominee and Law and Order: SVU alum Raúl Esparza plays the Al Capone-like, Hitler-paralleling Arturo Ui in this production. Joining him is a talented cast that includes George Abud (CSC: Nathan The Wise, Peer Gynt, Allegro; Broadway: The Band's Visit), Eddie Cooper (Off-Broadway: Atlantic Theater Company's This Ain't No Disco; TV: "Forever," "Mozart in the Jungle," "Banshee," "The Night Of"), Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis (CSC: Caucasian Chalk Circle, Allegro; Broadway: Once; TV: "Law & Order: SVU," "Blue Bloods,"), Christopher Gurr (Broadway: Cats, Tuck Everlasting, Kinky Boots, Amazing Grace, All the Way; National Tours: Memphis, Monty Python's Spamalot), Omozé Idehenre (Her Portmanteau at the Boston Court Theater, Good Grief at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Caucasian Chalk Circle at ACT; Film: On the Road), Mahira Kakkar (Henry VI at NAATCO and The Winter's Tale at TFANA, TV: "Friends From College," "Blacklist," "The Big C"), and Thom Sesma (CSC: Pacific Overtures; Broadway: The Times They are A-Changin', Man of La Mancha; TV: "The Good Wife," "Madam Secretary," "Jessica Jones").
The creative team includes Anne Hould-Ward (Costume Design), Jane Cox and Tess James (Lighting Design), Matt Stine (Sound Design), Bernita Robinson (Production Stage Manager) and Jessica Fleischman (Assistant Stage Manager).
John Doyle says of Arturo Ui, "Everyday I read the play, I think, 'I hear these words on CNN as I read them on the page.' The play will be falling right around the midterm elections, and it's fitting that it reminds us of the choices that are available to us in relation to the way the world can go. That really is at the foundation of what classical theater says. Classic plays have politics at their heart-you take a play like Richard III or the Scottish Play-they're warnings. And there's a warning in Arturo Ui. This is a time for theater to say something; if we're not screaming and shouting now, when are we ever going to do it?"
Brecht wrote Arturo Ui in 1941, while in exile from Nazi Germany, in Finland. During that time, he was awaiting his U.S. visa, and thereby imagined a vision of totalitarianism fit for America, and the American stage. (Though the play, ultimately, was never performed until 1958 in Germany, after Brecht's death.) In Arturo Ui, Brecht recast and reframed the fascism whose roots he had experienced firsthand, before leaving Germany for fear of persecution for his politically scalding works in 1933. Within a make-believe, vaudevillian portrayal of American mafia culture, the narrative of Arturo Ui is written to meticulously parallel events and individuals that brought the Third Reich to power, and led them to overtake their neighbors.
Though this is a highly contemporary work in the vast history of theater canon, Arturo Ui has a classical air, its "epic theatre" style emblematic of Classic Stage Company's work. Written largely in verse, Brecht's play nods to Richard III, speaking to the ubiquity of violent authority through time-while foreshadowing its potential for reemergence any time in the present and future. Before directing Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle in 2010, Doyle's acclaimed style-often minimal and anti-naturalist, highlighting ensemble casts, making visible the act of performance-was noted for having already deeply incorporated Brechtian qualities. With the democratic ethos and introspection-inducing nature of Brecht's and Doyle's theater-making, the production takes to heart our ability to resist violent power structures.
Performances of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui take place at Classic Stage Company (136 E 13th St, New York), with previews beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2018. The production opens Wednesday, November 14, 2018, and closes Saturday, December 22. Performance times are Tues.-Thurs. at 7pm, Fri.-Sat. at 8pm, and Sat.-Sun. at 2pm.
There will be no Saturday matinee on the first Saturday, November 3, 2018. A student matinee scheduled for Wednesday, November 29, 2018. There will be no performances on Thursday, November 22, 2018 or Friday, November 23, 2018 due to Thanksgiving.
Tickets are currently on sale to members. Members receive the best prices, flexibility, exclusive benefits, and invitations to special events throughout the season. Memberships begin at $50 ($25 for Students). For more information visit classicstage.org or call 212.677.4210.
Single tickets ($75 previews, $80 post opening, $125 prime) are currently on sale, and can be purchased at classicstage.org or 212-352-3101(or toll free 866-811-411).