Actor Christian Camargo will play one of the greatest, most dastardly and most mysterious playwrights in history when he steps into the Elizabethan boots of Christopher Marlowe Oct. 31, in the Public Theatre production of David Grimm's Kit Marlowe.
Also in the cast are Keith David as Sir Walter Raleigh, Jon DeVries as Sir Francis Walsingham, Sam Trammell as Thomas Walsingham, Robert Sella as Essex, David Patrick Kelly as Poley, Craig Bockhorn, Bostin Christopher, Chris Kipiniak, Martin Rayner, Ned Stresen-Reuter and Richard Ziman as the actor, Edward Alleyn, who first interpreted many of Marlowe's greatest parts. Brian Kulick directs.
Kit Marlowe is a "raw, contemporary take" on the life of Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe, who, as the author Dr. Faustus, Tamburlaine and The Jew of Malta, influenced and rivaled Shakespeare. Little is known about Marlowe's life, but it is known that he worked as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham, a scheming minister of Queen Elizabeth I. Francis' brother Thomas Walsingham, meanwhile, was Marlowe's patron. The playwright died in a quarrel over a bill in a Depford tavern at the age of 29 and many scholars believe that his death was linked to his secret doings as an agent.
Marlowe was also variously accused of atheism, blasphemy and sexual perversion. One-time Marlowe roommate, playwright Thomas Kyd (The Spanish Prisoner) called him "the very devil"; according to the Cambridge Guide to Theatre, Kyd's association with Marlowe resulted in the former being arrested for heresy.
Kulick directed the successful production of A Winter's Tale in Central Park this past summer, a mounting that featured Keith David. Kelly was last seen as Waffles in the Roundabout Theatre Company rendition of Uncle Vanya, starring Sir Derek Jacobi. DeVries has appeared at the Public in A Flea Spare and Off Broadway in Sight Unseen. Trammell made his Broadway debut in Ah, Wilderness! as Lincoln Center Theater. Sella created the role of Clifford in Side Man Off-Broadway. Camargo appeared in Henry V, directed at the Public by Kulick.
References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, by Jose Rivera, has been added to the Public Theater's 2000-01 season. The New York premiere drama, which will be directed by Jo Bonney, will play April, 2001, in the Shiva Theater. Rosie Perez will star.
Dali was presented by South Coast Rep in California in January of this year. The cast in that production included Svetlana Efremova, Victor Mack, Robert Montano, Ana Ortiz and Wells Rosales. No cast has been mentioned for the Public.
Dali is set in the desert of Barstow, California, where Gabriela, the wife of career soldier Benito, dives into a surreal fantasy world during her husband's prolonged absences, and imagines the mating rituals between a coyote and a cat. The fantastical plotline is not surprising to anyone familiar with the magic realism of such Rivera works as Cloud Tectonics and Sueno. The latter played Off-Broadway's MCC Theatre last season.
As previously reported, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival's 2000-2001 season will offer:
• Kit Marlowe, by David Grimm at the Newman Theater. Starts October 31 at the Newman Theater.
• John Moran's Book of the Dead, a musical-multimedia rumination on American spirituality in the digital age, at the Martinson Theater in the fall. Moran will also perform in the piece, which is called "genre-exploding" in its style, traveling from "the sunlit optimism of Ancient Egypt, through a day in the life of New York City's Second Avenue...to a Tibetan vision of the afterworld." It is Moran's first New York production in four years. Starts November 14 at Martinson Hall.
• Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, based on her novel of the same name, explores life in the Philippines in the 1980s. This New York premiere, directed by Michael Greif (Rent), will play the Anspacher Theater and mix "tales of politicians, hustlers, beauty queens and radicals...from the excesses of Imelda Marcos to the horrors of assassination." Starts February-March, 2001, at Martinson Hall.
• Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks is a "darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity," a tale of two brothers -- one named Lincoln and one Booth. Their names "foretell a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment." Parks' In the Blood (a Pulitzer finalist) played the Public in 1999-2000. To play the Anspacher Theater in March 2001.
--By Robert Simonson