Bertolt Brecht’s skewering of Adolf Hitler and totalitarianism is given a new production directed by John Doyle ("The Color Purple") for Classic Stage Company. More…
In 1930s Chicago, mobster Arturo Ui will stop at nothing to control the cauliflower trade. Terror and bloodshed follow. Can anyone stop him? Written in 1941, the play was one of the Berliner Ensemble’s greatest box office successes.
See it if Raul Esparza is great. It is Bertolt Brecht. Lightning is super. Action abounds. Thrust Stage (one of my favorites)
Don't see it if Actors have tough time with Thrust stage. Lighting affects some in audience It is loud. It is Bertolt Brecht (no middle ground)
See it if you're a fan of Brecht or Esparza who is great, enjoy social satires connecting America of today to fascism, pared down casts,
Don't see it if you're not a Brechtian, don't like heavy-handed symbols, find it hard to discern an actor switching characters, bright lights or loud noises
See it if This is an excellent, cohesive cast easily handling Brechtian dialogue. Nuance and relationships are not always clear, but the allegory is.
Don't see it if You have any difficulty hearing. The fast pace of the dialog took time to catch. You are not interested in political allegories.
See it if You are a fan of Raul Esparza. He was great. And if you like Brecht, although this isn't one of his best plays.
Don't see it if You don't like satire. Although in this case the satire is frighteningly close to our current reality.
See it if satire of Hitler's rise to power as told thru a story of a Chicago gangster, wonderful portrayal of Ui by Raul Esperza, funny & disturbing
Don't see it if you don't like satire or like your satire subtle; would be confused by actors playing more than one role
See it if you like fast-paced, thoughtful, older works--reinvigorated--requiring rapt attention; allegorical works, starkly-produced, are your speed.
Don't see it if expecting a really refined production (CSC is going bare-bones again—there aren’t even physical programs); you dislike political allegories.
See it if You like to see rarely produced plays by renowned playwrights , with excellent casts and cogent direction
Don't see it if You want a musical or to keep your entertainment apolitical
See it if You want to experience an energetic revival of this Brecht classic. Interesting staging by John Doyle.The ensemble cast is terrific.
Don't see it if The subject matter is not for you.The play requires your complete attention.I noticed several audience members who were asleep.What a shame!
See it if You want to see masterful performances by Raul Esparza and the supporting cast in a highly charged political story that still has relevance.
Don't see it if You are looking for something light and fluffy and non-political. This is definitely more of a think piece.
See it if You want to see a well-acted political farce decrying the complicity of wealthy business interests in the success of the Nazi Party.
Don't see it if you're expecting parallels to modern day politics. Brecht wrote so specifically about the rise of Nazism it is obvious and nontransferrable
See it if You enjoy a cartoonish struggle between good and evil (with a clear hint to our times) as Esparza & the cast revel in their roles.
Don't see it if You prefer the suspension of disbelief one can have in non-Brecht theater (or you don't like cauliflower).
See it if You want a tour de force performance from Raul Esparza. He is riveting. The show is good, not great, but relevant to our times.
Don't see it if You don’t like politics, don’t like rhyming couplets, need a big show with big sets, or want light fluffy theater. It’s not a show for all.
See it if you're deepening your appreciation of Brecht beyond "The Threepenny Opera." Raul Esparza's turn in the title role is deliciously strange.
Don't see it if you go ballistic when the parallels between Trump and Hitler are made evident. To say this production feels timely is an understatement.
See it if You enjoy classic plays with a political edge and social messaging. Mirrors Charlie Chaplin’s classic film The Dictator. The message is
Don't see it if You dislike Shakespearean plays or plays like The Three Penny Opera. Hard to follow and could easily bring on a sudden snooze.
See it if You appreciate great acting with a lot of energy and a play, though not subtle, packs a punch.
Don't see it if You're not a fan of Brecht and his ideas about theatre as a distancing medium. You want a subtle piece.
See it if you enjoy Brecht’s works, are a fan of Raul Esparza, enjoy social satires, and like the previous productions of CSC
Don't see it if you aren’t a fan of Brechtian theatre, would rather see a musical, or don’t want to see a dictator-centric play
See it if smart political commentary and well-acted character are key to a creative reinterpretation of Brecht's warning
Don't see it if minimalism and honesty about abuses of power are hard to swallow
See it if you love Raul Esparza and John Doyle, you're up for a show that throws our current political climate in your face
Don't see it if on-the-nose or not at all subtle parallels bother you or you don't want a show that makes you concentrate/work for it
See it if you know or wish to explore Brecht (highly political, very intentional theatre). Brilliantly staged and acted. Sadly timely. Has humor.
Don't see it if you just want to pop in and enjoy something. You aren't up for an in-your-face experience. You don't want to think about Hitler.
See it if a strong, invigorating production of Brecht's allegory with a superb cast headed by Esparza - working with a terrific translation.
Don't see it if if you are not a Brecht fan or find political allegories staged in a stark manner not your cuppa tea