Classic Stage Company Revival of Caucasian Chalk Circle, Starring Christopher Lloyd, Mary Testa and More, Begins May 3
By Adam Hetrick
The Classic Stage Company production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, starring Christopher Lloyd and featuring music by Duncan Sheik, begins previews May 3 Off-Broadway.
Directed by CSC artistic director Brian Kulick, the production features songs by Tony Award winner Sheik (Spring Awakening). The play's translation is by James and Tania Stern, with lyrics by W.H. Auden.
The 1948 drama, featuring a play-within-a-play touching on ideas of stewardship of the land, family, parenting and community, officially opens May 30 for a run through June 9.
Lloyd stars as Azdak in a cast that also features Tony Award nominee Mary Testa (42nd Street, Queen of the Mist) as the Governor's Wife, Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis (Once) as Grusha, Jason Babinsky (Ghost, Billy Elliot) as Yusek, Alex Hurt (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Simon, Tom Riis Farrell (Coram Boy, Dirty Blonde) as The Corporal/Shuva/Fat Prince and Deb Radloff (Dance Dance Revolution) as Farmer's Wife/Aniko.
According to CSC, "'Terrible is the temptation to do good!' warns Bertolt Brecht’s amiable narrator. But good is all that Grusha, the simple kitchen maid, knows. And so, in the midst of a revolution, she cannot help but come to the aid of a poor defenseless infant. Their subsequent misadventures across her war-torn country become the heart of Brecht's playful parable, which calls into question our basic assumptions of right in a world that has gone wrong."
The Caucasian Chalk Circle has scenic design by Tony Straiges, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Justin Townsend and sound design by Matt Kraus.
Lloyd's roots are in the theatre. He has appeared in more than 200 plays, including New York, regional and summer stock productions. For his title role in Kaspar he won an Obie and Drama Desk Award. Lloyd starred in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Morning's at Seven, directed by Daniel Sullivan; Twelfth Night for New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park; Center Stage's Waiting for Godot; and as Dalton Trumbo in the New York production of Trumbo. In 1975, he began his film career in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." This was soon followed by a two-year run as Jim Ignatowski on the TV comedy "Taxi," for which Lloyd won two of his three Emmys. In 1992, he won the Emmy as Best Dramatic Actor for Disney's "Road to Avonlea." (He was the first actor to win for a guest appearance in a category that featured series regulars; the following year, the rules were changed to include a Guest Appearance category). His film and TV credits (more than 90) include the "Back to the Future" trilogy, "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead," "Eight Men Out," "Addams Family" and "Addams Family Values," BBC's "Dead Ahead: Exxon Valdez Disaster," "Dennis the Menace," "Clue," "Star Trek III," "Goin' South," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "My Favorite Martian" and the HBO adaptation of "Wit."
For more information, visit classicstage.org.
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