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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

 



At Classic Stage, Bertolt Brecht's political allegory about a Depression-era Chicago mobster, who, with the help of his henchmen, manipulates and murders his way to totalitarian rule of the cauliflower trade.

From the producers: In 1930s Chicago, mobster Arturo Ui will stop at nothing to control the cauliflower trade. Terror and bloodshed follow. Can anyone stop him? Brecht’s skewering of Adolf Hitler and totalitarianism is given renewed significance in a production directed by John Doyle. Written in 1941, the play was one of the Berliner Ensemble’s greatest box office successes.

Written in 1941 while author Bertolt Brecht was in exile from Nazi Germany, "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" uses a vaudevillian portrayal of American mafia culture to parallel events that brought the Third Reich to power. The play was first produced in 1953 after Brecht had founded the Berliner Ensemble. It has been produced twice on Broadway - in 1963 and 1968. The play was also presented twice Off-Broadway: in 1991 by Classic Stage Company, starring John Turturro and again in 2002 by the National Actors Theatre, with Ui played by Al Pacino.

Helmed by Classic Stage Artistic Director John Doyle ("The Color Purple," "The Visit"), the play features four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza ("Company," "Leap of Faith") in the title role. Completing the cast are George Abud, Eddie Cooper, Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis, Christopher Gurr, Omozé Idehenre, Mahira Kakkar and Thom Sesma.

What is Classic Stage Company? CSC is an award-winning Off-Broadway company which is "committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience." Founded in 1967, the company performs in an intimate 199-seat venue near Union Square. More here.

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