Sella Will Be Salieri in Chicago Shakespeare's Amadeus This Fall

News   Sella Will Be Salieri in Chicago Shakespeare's Amadeus This Fall
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) has snagged Robert Sella to play envious composer Salieri in its Sept. 6-Nov. 9 production of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, directed by associate artistic director Gary Griffin.
Robert Sella
Robert Sella

Sella played Prior in the national tour of Angels in America, directed by Michael Mayer, who also directed the actor as narrator Clifford in Broadway's Side Man. He won the Clarence Derwent Award and a Drama League Citation for it. Also on Broadway, Sella appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (as Boris), My Fair Lady (as Freddie) and Cabaret (Emcee). In 1998 he won a Helen Hayes Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play for his work in The Shakespeare Theatre's Mourning Becomes Electra in Washington, DC. In 2007, he starred with Maggie Smith in the West End production of Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque.

Amadeus director Griffin (Broadway's The Color Purple) will direct a cast that includes the previously announced Robbie Collier Sublett as Mozart, Elizabeth Ledo as Constanze, Lance Baker as Joseph II, Phillip James Brannon as Venticello, Danielle Brothers as Teresa Salieri, Chris Cantelmi as Salieri's Valet, Jeremy Clark as Salieri's Cook, Jurgen Hooper (Ensemble), Mackenzie Kyle (Ensemble), David Lively as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, Roger Mueller as Count Von Strack, John Reeger as Baron Van Swieten/Ensemble, Dan Sanders-Joyce as Venticello, Kari Sorenson as Katherina Cavalieri, Blaine Swen (Ensemble) and Ron Turner as Kappelmeister Bonno.

According to the 2008 Tony Award-winning CST, Shaffer's award-winning drama "brings us into the tumultuous lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his obsessively jealous rival, Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri. Overcome with envy of Mozart's divinely inspired music, Salieri believes God has bestowed genius upon an 'unmannered fool' and sets out to destroy his rival and take revenge upon an uncaring God."

The original Broadway production (which followed the London premiere) received five Tony Awards, including Best Play. The film adaptation received eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

At Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Griffin has directed A Flea in Her Ear, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Pacific Overtures, The Herbal Bed, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream and Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet. Broadway directing credits include The Color Purple (11 Tony nominations including Best Musical) and The Apple Tree (Tony nomination Best Musical Revival). Griffin also directed the ongoing national tour of The Color Purple. Off-Broadway credits include The Apple Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pardon My English, The New Moon (all for Encores!) and Beautiful Thing. London credits include Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse (Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production and Olivier Award nomination for Best Director). He has received eight Joseph Jefferson Awards for directing. Amadeus will play CST's Courtyard Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Avenue in Chicago.

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