The Public Theater's presentation of The Actors' Gang production of the Robbins work began preview Feb. 24 and opened March 14 at the Newman Theater space. Robbins also directs the piece.
Embedded 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 in November 2003 at The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, where Robbins is artistic director.
Robbins, who recently won an Oscar for his performance in the film "Mystic River," has been seen in such films as "Bull Durham," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Player." He recently appeared Off-Broadway in two other rotating cast shows: The Guys and The Exonerated. Also a screenwriter-director, Robbins penned and helmed the film versions of "Cradle Will Rock," "Bob Roberts" and "Dead Man Walking." The cast of Embedded includes Ben Cain, V.J. Foster, Brent Hinkley, Kaili Hollister, Mark Lewis, Riki Lindhome, Jay R. Martinez, Kate Mulligan, Steven M. Porter, Toni Torres, Lolly Ward and Andrew Wheeler.
The design team includes Richard Hoover (scenic design), Yasuko Takahara (costume), Adam H. Greene (lighting), David Robbins (sound) and Erhard Stiefel (masks ).
Tickets are $50 and are on sale now at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street; on-line at www.publictheater.org and at (212) 239-6200.