Performances by the hybrid British-American troupe began July 1 as the final show of Aquila's first subscription season in Manhattan.
The piece is adapted by Aquila producing artistic director Peter Meineck from Rudyard Kipling's 1888 short story. Aquila associate artistic director Robert Richmond directs.
"Created" by Peter Meineck & Robert Richmond, with original music by Anthony Cochrane, The Man Who Would Be King features three actors playing all the roles: Louis Butelli (Kipling), Richard Willis (Peachy Carnehan) and Anthony Cochrane (Daniel Dravot).
The story "tells the fantastic tale of two British rogues who decide to travel to the unknown country of Kafiristan, to the north of Afghanistan, set themselves up as Kings and become rich."
According to Meineck, "In some ways, The Man Who Would Be King stands as a literary metaphor for the British in India and the Colonial Empire as a whole. Its tumultuous ending is almost prophetic and the story contains both positive and negative issues that are important for Americans to consider today." Aquila's The Man Who Would Be King features music by Anthony Cochrane, production design by Meineck and Richmond and lighting design by Meineck.
Aquila's first New York Season (which devotes itself to "productions that intersect on the theme of the effects of war") began with the recent modern production of Agamemnon and Othello (which closed June 27).
Aquila is known for its frisky takes on the classics, often infusing stagings with a physicality that startles audiences.
The Man Who Would Be King's performance schedule is Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM with matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets ($45) are available through Tele-charge (212) 239-6200.
Baruch Performing Arts Center is located on 25th Street near Third Avenue. Visit www.aquilatheatre.com.