A Disease Called Sobriety

PUNTILA AND MATTI poster small“There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they had no good in them.”

— La Rouchefoucauld

Brecht’s epic comedy of two men from very different strata of life — the good-natured, somewhat suspicious but always honest chauffeur, Matti, and his employer, gentleman farmer Puntila, whose only problem is this little disease he suffers from:  A disease called sobriety.

For when drunk, Puntila is warm, generous, insightful and wise.  It’s when he sobers up the trouble starts..

Written in Finland in the mid 1940s, “Puntila and Matti” premiered in Zurich in 1948 and was the premiere production of the newly-formed Berliner Ensemble in 1950.  Brecht believed this show should be done in style evoking the Commedia, and adaptor Lee Hall responded to that in 1998 by remaking it as a vaudeville extravaganza.

Sober Puntila has affianced his daughter Eva to a boring but respectable government Attache, but Drunken Puntila can’t stand the man and moves heaven and earth to strike a spark between Eva and Matti.  Sober Puntila is resigned to the single life, but Drunken Puntila, an inveterate ladies’ man, proposes to half the eligible women in the district.  Sober Puntila hires his laborers grudgingly at slave wages, but Drunken Puntila is a one-man stimulus package.

Can Mr. Brecht’s theories of alienation and collectivism survive in a breakneck world of snappy patter and showbiz pizazz?  Join Puntila, Matti, Eva, and the whole gang as they find the answer to that question!

Monday, Sept. 28th

7:30pm Reading

Email events@antaeus.org for more information on how to attend!

-John Apicella

John is a stage, film and tv actor whose thirty year career includes dozens of feature film and network television roles. His work with L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum includes West Coast premieres of Vaclav Havel’s plays Largo Desolato and Temptation, as well as the Antaeus/Taper production of Chekhov’s The Wood Demon.  Regional work includes A.C.T. (San Francisco) in The First Picture Show, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Imaginary Invalid, and the Dallas Theatre Center.  He is a founding member of Antaeus and served on the board for fifteen years and as co-artistic director for five years.
Besides a lifelong fascination with the plays of Brecht, his specialties include commedia dell’arte (he is a skilled classical maskmaker), the American drama of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the classical Greek and Roman theater

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