Foothill Theatre Arts stages the Bay Area premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” Friday through Nov. 24 in Los Altos Hills.
Pulitzer, Olivier and Tony award-winning American playwright Bruce Norris (“Clybourne Park”) is behind the new adaptation of the satirical drama about the rise of a demagogue.
Debuting last year at London’s Donmar Warehouse theater, this version was lauded as “a tremendous new adaptation” by The Guardian newspaper.
Brecht wrote the original play when he was a refugee banned from his native Germany and awaiting immigration to the U.S. It was created as a satirical allegory of the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany prior to World War II and intended specifically for an American audience.
The spoof chronicles the rise of a risible buffoon, a fictional bumbling small-time crook in 1930s Chicago who sees opportunities to amass power. Offering a better world for his cowed followers, Ui blithely employs bribery and corruption on his stunning and unexpected climb to the top. At one point engaging a washed-up Shakespearean actor for speaking tips, the gangster also borrows from epic theatrical villains such as Richard III and Macbeth in his quest for supreme authority.
Bruce McLeod, who joined Foothill College’s Theatre Arts department in 2007, directs the production, supported by scenic designer Lynn Grant and lighting designer Dan Wadleigh.
The cast features professional actors from throughout the Bay Area and Foothill students. The cast includes Anthony Silk (as Arturo Ui), Margaret Allen (Betty Dullfeet, Sheet and Actor), Denna Basto (Dockdaisy), Kathy Blumfeld (Evelyn O’Casey), Dominic Dee (Gangster), Chayenne Greenberg (Ragg), Parker Hough (Caruther), Seth Goyal (Manny Giri), Asher Krohn (Ernesto Roma), Emma Rose Le (Young Dogsborough), Jessica Lopang (Flake, Public Defender), Rafael Luna (Bodyguard), George Mauro (Dogsborough), Hannah Milon (Inna), Teddy Pagee (Clark), Mark Rosen (Ignatius Dullfeet), Miles Cook (Giovanni Givola) and Brittany Williams (Butcher).
Shows are scheduled 7:30 p.m. Thursdays (after this week) and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, along with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday and Nov. 24, and a Sunday evening show 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road. Friday’s show is a preview; Saturday is opening night.
Tickets are $5-$20. Parking is $3.
For tickets and more information, call 949-6360 or visit foothill.edu/theater.