Directed by Walt Jones
Don’t yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!
Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
The bitch that bore him is in heat again.
~The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, epilogue
Brecht’s shudderingly accurate parallel between Hitler and his henchmen on the one hand, and the old crime lords of Chicago on the other, is a vigorous eye opener that was produced on Broadway with Christopher Plummer. The Cauliflower Trust in Chicago is in need of help and turns to a racketeer by the name of Arturo Ui to begin a “protection” campaign. His henchmen look astonishingly like Goebbels and Goring. Their activities include “accidental” fires and a St. Valentine’s Day massacre.
Ghosts of Paul Muni, Jimmy Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson will be channeled with video clips of their famous gangster films Scarface, The Public Enemy, and Little Ceasar.
MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES
“Brecht was not, after all, the subtlest of writers, and “Arturo Ui” is not even among his subtlest plays. Written while Brecht was in exile in Finland in 1941, when the Nazis had consolidated their power and the war in Europe was under way, “Arturo Ui” paints a blunt picture of a smug society easily corrupted and ultimately overtaken by a low-level hoodlum and his gang of thugs.” — Charles Isherwood, Variety