The show opened March 14 at its Newman Theater. Robbins himself directs the piece. Previews began on Feb. 24.
The work by Robbins—who has written several plays—is a mix of satirical depictions of governmental and military operations and scenes of sentimental naturalism involving the war's "little people": journalists and soldiers. Central are a sextet of grotesquely masked "President's men," who are linked to the Bush White House by such nicknames as Dick, Pearly White, Gondola, Wolfy and Rum Rum.
The term "embedded" was used during the war in Iraq to refer to journalists who were allowed to accompany American troops as they marched toward Baghdad. In Robbins' play, the reporters are whipped into fighting form by a hard-as-nails sergeant with a predilection for show tunes and editorial censorship.
Embedded had its world premiere on Nov. 15, 2003, at The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, where Robbins is artistic director.
It's been a big month for Robbins, who on Feb. 29 won an Oscar for his performance in "Mystic River." The actor, an outspoken opponent of President Bush's military policies in Afghanistan and Iraq, has received a great deal of negative press from conservative quarters for his perceived lack of patriotism. The most infamous contretemps involved the Baseball Hall of Fame, which canceled a scheduled screening of the Robbins baseball comedy "Bull Durham" because the actor had spoken out against the war in Iraq. The cast of Embedded includes Ben Cain, Brian T. Finney, V.J. Foster, Kaili Hollister, Riki Lindhome Jay R. Martinez, Kate Mulligan, Steven M. Porter, Brian Powell, Toni Torres, Lolly Ward and Andrew Wheeler.
The Actors' Gang was formed in 1982. Since then, Robbins has directed six plays there.
Tickets are $50 and are on sale now at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street; on-line at www.publictheater.org and via Telecharge, (212) 239-6200.