The 19th production of the National Actors Theatre, The Persians was originally scheduled to conclude its run June 22 but was extended one week to accommodate demand for tickets. Ethan McSweeny directed the classic, which began previews May 24 and opened June 10.
Ellen McLaughlin's new version of The Persians stars Len Cariou as Darius, Roberta Maxwell as Attosa, Brennan Brown as Herald and Michael Stuhlbarg as Xerxes; the chorus comprises Jon Devries, Ed Dixon, Herb Foster, Michael Potts, Henry Stram, Henry Strozier and Charles Turner. The creative team includes James Noone (sets), Kevin Adams (lighting), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Marilys Ernst (projections) and Michael Roth (original music and sound design).
An early play loosely based on the Persian Wars, The Persians concentrates on the demise of the Persian empire, including the folly of Xerxes, which caused the empire's downfall. The play also includes the appearance — as a ghost — of Xerxes' father Darius, who declaims the ruin of his once-great empire.
The National Actors Theatre most recently presented Al Pacino in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Oct. 3-Nov. 10, 2002. Others in that star- studded cast included Billy Crudup, Chazz Palminteri, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and the theatre's founder, Tony Randall.
Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts is located on Spruce Street between Park Row and Gold Street. Tickets are priced at $45 with senior and student seats available for $12. Call (212) 239-6200 for tickets.