Theatre: still putting asses in seats

The Public Theatre‘s website was impossible to access on Monday. Here’s why: Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Iago to John Oritz‘s Othello in an upcoming production. Perhaps the way to sell theatre tickets nowadays is to stud the cast with celebrities. When a BAM volunteer tried to sell me a membership over the phone recently, the second sentence out of his mouth contained the words Streetcar Named Desire, preceded only by the words Cate Blanchett (non-subscription/member tickets on sale Sept. 21). Clearly it works. I’m excited to see both productions this fall. And anything that gets non-theatre goers to see a play is an effort I applaud.

Othello is directed by “internationally acclaimed director Peter Sellars, renowned for tearing through boundaries with his visionary stagings of the classics. His production charts the new prospects for hope in 21st century America by measuring them against Shakespeare’s vivid depiction of racial struggle, the fog of war, and the thin frontiers tha separate love and jealousy, vengeance and forgiveness.”

Performances September 12 – October 4