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BWW Interview: Stage and Screen Star Chris Perfetti Talks THE LOW ROAD, Working With Michael Greif & More!

The Low Road

The young stage and screen star Chris Perfetti has returned to the stage in Bruce Norris' new comedy The Low Road under the direction of Michael Greif, now playing at The Public until the extended closing date of April 8, 2018. "Working at The Public is an unrivaled joy, particularly on this play. The Low Road's premiere at The Public is like an eclipse to me. It's a perfect match. A marriage. The Public Theater has always been to me a place where every necessary conversation is being had," said Perfetti. "The Public's got its finger on the pulse of what's happening socially, culturally, politically and theatrically."

Over the past few years, Perfetti has easily danced between the world's of Hollywood and Broadway, starring onscreen in HBO's "Looking" with Jonathan Groff before making his way back to the stage in Broadway's Six Degrees of Separation alongside Allison Janney. "I've become quite accustomed to switching between the two... there is nothing more thrilling artistically than working on a play for me. I would live in rehearsal if I could. It's linear, it's immediate, it feels like acting. Being around incredible actors is always preparing me for what's to come," Perfetti said, adding, "Also, working with Allison Janney prepares you to be a better human on this planet."

With a play written by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris and directed by Four-time Tony nominee and three-time Obie winner Michael Greif, Perfetti is definitely in right place for the 'artistic thrill' he seeks. "Because Bruce Norris is an actor himself, he has a remarkable ability to write characters that are incredibly realistic, complex and fun to play; an actors dream," Perfetti praised, adding, "[And Michael] is my favorite kind of director; his knowledge and experience, which are unusually plentiful, are paired with uncanny instinct and humanity. He remains incredibly present while four steps ahead of you. He may be the best director we have working today."

The artistic combo of Norris, Greif and Perfetti create The Low Road's Jim Trewitt: a man who was abandoned at a whorehouse Massachusetts with a note that identifies him as the bastard child of a mysterious "G. Washington of Virginia", yet grows up to become America's first laissez-faire capitalist.

One might think a political comedy set in 1700's could feel outdated amidst the plentiful political material of modern day, but Perfetti thinks the exact opposite. "In many ways, we have departed from our 18th century sensibilities, but in most ways we have not. One might posit that America is still finding its legs," he explains. "The infrastructure of this country has changed, but has its soul? And how much of that can be pinned on human nature? We are, in many ways, still asking who will we be as a country [and] as a society."

From Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris comes an epic play, The Low Road, featuring seventeen actors in fifty roles, examining the basic beliefs upon which we've built our economy and our country. Set in the 18th century, this wild new work imagines America's first laissez-faire capitalist, a young man inspired by a chance encounter with Adam Smith to put his faith in the free market. But his path to riches becomes inextricably entangled with that of an educated slave, a man who knows from experience that one person's profit is another's loss, in this parable about the true cost of inequality. Four-time Tony nominee and three-time Obie winner Michael Greif directs this richly imaginative, riotously funny new play about the imaginary lines between exploitation and opportunity.

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