The 19th production of the National Actors Theatre, The Persians starring Len Cariou as Darius, will officially open June 10. Ethan McSweeny directs the new version by Ellen McLaughlin. Others in the cast include Roberta Maxwell as Attosa, Brennan Brown as Herald and Michael Stuhlbarg as Xerxes, and the chorus will comprise Jon Devries, Ed Dixon, Herb Foster, Michael Potts, Henry Stram, Henry Strozier and Charles Turner.
The creative team of The Persians, which will play through June 22, 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. The Persians will play Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM. There will be special Sunday evening performances May 25 and June 15 at 6:30 PM. (There will be no 3 PM performances May 24 and 25 and no performances on May 28 and June 12.) Call (212) 239- 6200 for tickets.