MA's American Repertory Theatre is offering a rare revival of Bertolt Brecht's early classic, In the Jungle of Cities. Beginning previews Feb. 20, Jungle opens March 2 and runs to March 14.
Set in bars and flophouses, this 1922 piece tells of two men who live only to destroy each other. Translated from the original German by Paul Schmidt, Cities is directed by Robert Woodruff, who staged several Sam Shepard premieres at the NY Shakespeare Festival (including Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class).
Starring in Jungle are Randy Danson, Dmetrius Conley-Williams, Leslie Beatty, A.R.T. veteran Alvin Epstein, Jeremy Geidt, Arliss Howard, Harry S. Murphy, Justin Campbell, Sophia Fox-Long, Rob Grader, Robert Ross, Kevin Varner and Emma Roberts. Designing the show are Robert Pyzocha (set), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Christopher Walker (sound) and Michael Chybowski (lighting).
Jungle runs in repertory with A.R.T.'s The Taming Of The Shrew, (Jan. 30-March 21), with Andrei Serban directing William Shakespeare's battle-of-the-sexes, wherein Petruchio woos wild Kate. Shrew marks Serban's return to A.R.T. after eight years. Previously plays staged there by Serban include Twelfth Night and Brecht's The Good Woman Of Setzuan.
* Upcoming shows at A.R.T. Include:
Nobody Dies On Friday (April)
Marilyn Monroe continues to inspire playwrights and screenwriters, including Robert Brustein, whose new play will be directed by David Wheeler. Friday tells of Monroe's visits to the house of her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, whenever she needed acting lessons or to seek asylum from Hollywood craziness. The play not only looks at her, but the tensions she brings out among the four Strasbergs, who quarrel over art, theatre and the cult of celebrity.
The Imaginary Invalid (May 8-31)
Moliere's last play, a satire of the medical profession wherein hypochondriacal Argan decides his daughter must marry a physician so that he'd always have ready healthcare. Shelley Berc translates the farce, which is directed by ART veteran, Andrei Belgarder (Ubu Rock).
American Rep uses a resident acting company, including Remo Airaldi, Thomas Derrah, Alvin Epstein, Benjamin Evett, Kristen Flanders, Jeremy Geidt, Will LeBow, Karen McDonald, Charles Levin, Don Reilly, Stephen Rowe and Jack Willis, alongside Leslie Beatty, Jay Boyer, D'metrius Conley-Williams, Emma Roberts and other new members.
As founding director of the Yale Repertory and American Rep, Brustein has supervised nearly 200 productions. He serves as director of the Loeb Drama Center, Professor of English at Harvard, and drama critic for The New Republic. These days, he's most celebrated for his public arguments with playwright August Wilson about multi-cultural casting.
For tickets and information on the American Repertory Theatre season, call their Info-Line at (617) 547-8300 or check out their website at http://www.amrep.org.
-- By David Lefkowitz