"The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui” is a parable play that has established itself among the world's classic satires. It has been produced twice on Broadway and in notable off-Broadway productions. The play was inspired by Brecht's own personal experience of Adolf Hitler's rise to power, the ruthless ambitions of Shakespeare's tyrants, and Charlie Chaplin's “Great Dictator.” The title character, Arturo Ui, is a heartless 1930s style Chicago mobster who brutally seizes control of the cauliflower racket and cruelly rises to power.
Louis Fantasia, the director, has staged over 150 opera and plays around the world. He was recently honored by the Goethe-Institut of Los Angeles for his contribution to German culture. The cast of the reading is led by Joe Spano, Roxanne Hart, and Harry Hamlin. Proceeds from this event will support the Shakespeare Center's White House award-winning “Will Power to Youth” program. Will Power to Youth provides transformational arts-based employment opportunities to young people living at the poverty threshhold.