Raúl Esparza-Led The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui Opens
Bertolt Brecht's drama imagines the specter of fascism in America.
Classic Stage Company production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui opened on Wednesday, Novemeber 14, under the direction of John Doyle. Starring Raúl Esparza, the production will continue through December 22.
Esparza will star in the title role, a Chicago mobster who, with the help of his henchmen, manipulates and murders his way to totalitarian rule of the cauliflower trade. Joining him in the cast are George Abud (The Band's Visit), Eddie Cooper (This Ain't No Disco), Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis (Once), Christopher Gurr (Cats), Omozé Idehenre (Good Grief at the Kirk Douglas Theatre), Mahira Kakkar (Henry VI at the National Asian American Theatre Company), and Thom Sesma (Pacific Overtures).
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).
Brecht wrote Arturo Ui in 1941, while in exile from Nazi Germany in Finland. During that time, he was awaiting his US visa and thereby imagined a vision of totalitarianism fit for America, and the American stage. 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.