Raúl Esparza to Star in Classic Stage Company's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Off-Broadway News   Raúl Esparza to Star in Classic Stage Company's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
The Tony nominee and Law and Order: SVU star will play the title role in Bertolt Brecht’s political satire, directed by John Doyle.
Raúl Esparza Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza is set to star in Classic Stage Company's upcoming production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

Helmed by Artistic Director John Doyle, the political allegory will star Esparza in the title role–a Depression-era Chicago mobster, who, with the help of his henchmen, manipulates and murders his way to totalitarian rule of the cauliflower trade.

Performances of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui will begin October 30 at Classic Stage Company ahead of a November 14 opening. Further casting to be announced.

Written in 1941 while Brecht was in exile from Nazi Germany, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui uses a vaudevillian portrayal of American mafia culture to parallel events that brought the Third Reich to power.

“Everyday I read the play, I think, ‘I hear these words on CNN as I read them on the page.’ The play will be falling right around the midterm elections, and it’s fitting that it reminds us of the choices that are available to us in relation to the way the world can go,” says Tony winner Doyle. “That really is at the foundation of what classical theatre says. Classic plays have politics at their heart—you take a play like Richard III or the Scottish Play—they’re warnings. And there’s a warning in Arturo Ui. This is a time for theatre to say something; if we’re not screaming and shouting now, when are we ever going to do it?”

CSC also announced that Shariffa Ali will direct Mies Julie, Yaël Farber’s adaptation of the August Strindberg play; and Tony winner Victoria Clark will direct Strindberg’s The Dance of Death. Both plays will run in repertory beginning in January 2019.

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