Obie Award winners André De Shields (Prymate, The Full Monty, Black Nativity) and Reg E. Cathey (“The Wire,” The Green Bird, Talk, Blue Door, White Chocolate) star in the Flea Theater’s revival of Cato, by famed English essayist Joseph Addison, which will be directed by Jim Simpson. Performances for the limited engagement of Cato are from October 10 through November 1. Opening night is October 18.
Written in 1712, Cato was one of the most popular English plays of that period. It is based on the last days of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95-46 B.C.), a Roman Statesman who took sides with Pompey in an unsuccessful civil war against Julius Caesar. The play takes place in the city of Utica, where Cato (played by De Shields) and a small Roman Senate stand ready to defend the last vestige of the Roman Republic against Caesar. The play delves into such themes as individual liberty vs. government tyranny, Republicanism vs. Monarchism, logic vs. emotion and Cato’s personal struggle to cleave to his beliefs in the face of death.
In addition to De Shields and Cathey, the production co-stars Christian Baskous (Two September), Anthony Cochrane (The Coast of Utopia, Cymbeline) and Brian O’Neill, along with five members of The Bat Theater Company, The Flea’s resident acting company. With costumes by Claudia Brown, set and lights by Zack Tinkelman and graphic design David Prittie.
Tickets to shows at The Flea Theater, 41 White St. (between Broadway and Church St.), are available by calling (212) 352-3101 or by visiting theflea.org. Subway accessibility from the A, C, E, N, R, Q, W, 6, J, M, Z to Canal Street or the 1 to Franklin Street.
Joseph Addison (Playwright)
Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 – June 17, 1719) was an English essayist and poet. He was a man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot Addison, and later the dean of Lichfield. He founded The Spectator magazine with Richard Steele. Cato is his most famous work.
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