Arin Arbus (TFANA's Othello last season) directs the Bard classic, which opens Feb. 14 at The Duke on 42nd Street. The run will last to March 14.
The dark comedy centers on an unbalanced society where "government leaders are helpless or hypocritical, and passions are relegated to the whorehouses and the prisons."
According to TFANA, "When the Duke of Vienna departs on a mysterious trip, he delegates power to Angelo, a man of spotless reputation. Puritanical Angelo decides to clamp down on the city's rampant vice by enforcing an antiquated law punishing fornication with death. He makes an example of young Claudio for impregnating his beloved fiancé, and listens to no pleas for mercy. But Angelo's moral fiber is strained to the breaking point when Claudio's beautiful sister Isabella, about to take holy vows, arrives to plead for his life and prompts stirrings in Angelo that confuse and rattle him. Corrupt power confronts ruthless justice, the letter of the law obscures the quality of mercy, and the noblest of spirits must reflect on the basest of appetites in this sly, bawdy, provocative and extraordinarily modern play."
The cast includes Mays (I Am My Own Wife, Pygmalion) as The Duke, Waterston (The Tempest) as Isabella, Sisto (The Bacchae) as Angelo and Testa (Xanadu, Guys and Dolls) as Mistress Overdone, plus Denis Butkus, Samara Bay, Joe Forbrich, Alfredo Narciso, John Christopher Jones, John Keating, Alyssa Bresnahan, Robert Langdon Lloyd, LeRoy McClain, Rose Seccareccia and Graham Winton.
The design team includes Peter Ksander (sets), Marcus Doshi (lights), David Zinn (costumes) and Jane Shaw (sound design). Sarah Pickett provides original music and John Caraffa handles movement. TFANA shows play at The Duke, 229 West 42nd Street. For more information, visit tfana.org.