Starry Casting Complete for Pacino Arturo Ui; Students Will Get Cheap Tix

News   Starry Casting Complete for Pacino Arturo Ui; Students Will Get Cheap Tix Casting is now complete for the National Actors Theatre's production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which will kick off the company's 2002-03 season.

Casting is now complete for the National Actors Theatre's production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which will kick off the company's 2002-03 season.

As previously announced, Tony Award winner Al Pacino will head the cast of Bertolt Brecht's play in the title role; joining the former star of Broadway's The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel will be Gerry Bamman, Lothaire Bluteau, Sterling Brown, Steve Buscemi, Dominic Chianese, Billy Crudup, Charles Durning, Linda Emond, Tom Riis Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Michael Goldfinger, John Goodman, Jacqueline McKenzie, Chris McKinney, Ajay Naidu, Novella Nelson, Matte Osian, Chazz Palminteri, Tony Randall, Robert Stanton, John Ventimiglia and Jack Willis.

Simon McBurney, the artistic director of Complicite, will helm the production, which begins performances at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts on Oct. 3; the limited engagement runs through Oct. 26. Admission is available by purchasing a membership to the NAT, which gives one access to then buying a ticket (plus first dibs on NAT's later-season shows). The total cost will top at more than $100, per member. However, a spokesman told Playbill On-Line Sept. 5 that some non member tickets will be released (likely at $100 a pop) and there will be several rows of seats available to students at each performance, likely at a cost of $25 or less.

NAT has stressed that the high ticket price is about supporting a not-for-profit theatre company committed to classics, not paying high salaries to stars.

Director McBurney's New York credits include Mnemonic, The Noise of Time, The Street of Crocodiles and The Chairs. The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University is located on Spruce Street between Park Row and Gold Street. All tickets and memberships for the National Actors Theatre are available through Telecharge by calling (212) 239-6280. 

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Those wishing to catch Al Pacino in the National Actors Theatre's production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui will have to shell out a pretty penny.

Demand is expected to be very high for the limited three week engagement of the Brecht work, which will play the theatre at Pace University from Oct. 3-26. Membership to the National Actors Theatre, which enables members to buy one ticket to the production, is priced at $50. The single ticket for Arturo costs $65, bringing the total of membership plus ticket to $115 (without service charges). The membership, however, does entitle the member to purchase tickets to other productions of the season. As of press time, two other plays are being planned, although titles have yet to be released.

Written while in exile in 1941, Brecht's Arturo Ui recasts Hitler's rise as a Chicago gangster's takeover of the Windy City's green-grocery trade. The play bowed on Broadway in November 1963. The production featured incidental music by Jule Styne and a cast that included Sandy Baron, Leonardo Cimino, James Coco, Michael Constantine, Elisha Cook, Roger De Koven, James Frawley, John Karlen, Henry Lascoe, Christopher Plummer, Madeleine Sherwood, William Shust, Lionel Stander, Glenn Stensel, Murvyn Vye and Robert Weil. It ran for just five previews and eight performances. A 1968 revival at the Billy Rose Theatre ran 10 performances.

Al Pacino made his Broadway debut in the 1969 production of Does a Tiger Wear Necktie?, earning a Tony Award for his performance. He scored another Tony for his role in the 1977 revival of The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. The stage and film actor was last on Broadway in 1996 in a revival of Hughie, which he also directed. Pacino's other Broadway credits include Camino Real, King Richard III, American Buffalo, Chinese Coffee and Salome. He received the Academy Award for his work in the film "Scent of a Woman" and stars in the New Line motion picture "Simone."

—By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones