After touring with his well-received look at "Shakespeare's Villains," actor-director Steven Berkoff brought that show to Off Broadway's Public Theatre, where audience interest and acclaim warranted an encore engagement. Now Berkoff has taken a similar route with his latest solo, modestly titled Berkoff is Back.
The latest evening comprises three stories, two by Berkoff ("Actor" and "Dog"), one by Edgar Allan Poe ("The Tell-Tale Heart"). All are on the "chilling and terrifying side," according to production spokesperson Judy Jacksina. B is B begins previews Jan. 23, opens Jan. 31 and ends its run March 10.
Produced by the Culture Project, the show, which won acclaim in London, features Berkoff as a guilty psycho with a secret, an angst-ridden failed actor and a foul-mouthed, skinhead dog owner — and his dog.
Berkoff is known for his avant garde productions of Kafka's Metamorphosis and The Trial, Agamemnon and Oscar Wilde's Salome. The Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Public have been frequent hosts of his work. His original plays include East, Kvetch and Decadence. Shakespeare's Villians: A Masterclass in Evil proved such a popular draw at The Public Theater in November 2000 that it returned for a encore engagement of 17 performances, in January 2001. Soon after, the show extended its limited run. In that one man show, Berkoff looked at such Bard baddies as Iago, Richard III and Macbeth. According to production sources, the fall run sold out.
For tickets ($35-$45) and information on Berkoff is Back at 45 Bleecker call (212) 253-9983. —By David Lefkowitz
and Robert Simonson