Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite") and Golden Globe nominee Daniel Benzali ("Murder One") will lead the cast of the Classic Stage Company presentation and American premiere of Luigi Pirandello's Naked. The show begins previews March 30 and opens April 9. The limited engagement will run through April 30.
Director John Rando (Neil Simon's The Dining Room, An Empty Plate at the Cafe du Grande Boeuf) helms this new version of the play by Nicholas Wright.
Part murder mystery, part literary puzzle and part high drama, Naked is the story of Ersilia (Sorvino), a young woman hounded by the press after the death of a child entrusted to her care. The action surrounds the efforts of famous novelist Ludovico Nota (Benzali) who offers her refuge, but insists she tell her whole story.
This version of the Pirandello classic opened to great acclaim in February 1998 at London's Almeida Theatre.
Featured in the cast with Sorvino and Benzali are Tina Bruno, Michel R. Gill, Bray Poor, Peter Rini and Rebecca Schull. The daughter of actor Paul Sorvino ("Goodfellas"), Sirvino's other film credits include Robert Redford's "Quiz Show," "Barcelona," HBO's "Norma Jean & Marilyn," "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" and, most recently, Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam." On stage, Sorvino appeared in Joyce Carol Oates' Greensleeves and Best of Schools at UBU Rep's Festival of New Plays.
Co-star Benzali appeared in the films "Murder at 1600" with Wesley Snipes, Wim Wenders' "End of Violence" with Gabriel Byrne, and "All the Little Animals" with John Hurt. On the London stage, he has starred as Juan Peron in Evita, Max in Sunset Boulevard, and is one of the few American actors to join England's Royal Shakespeare Company. Benzali recently appeared in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross at the McCarter Theatre with Charles Durning and Ruben Santiago Hudson.
The production team for Naked comprises set designer Derek McLane, costume designer Ilona Somogyi, lighting designer Russell H. Champa and sound designer David Van Tieghem. Tickets are $25-$45. The Classic Stage Company is located at 136 East 13th Street. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by calling (212) 677 4210, ext. 2.
-- By Murdoch McBride