“The pleasures afforded by this giddy, breakneck show —including a DOOZY OF A CAST led by the peerless, path-clearing cyclone of silliness called MICHAEL URIE — are as old as the days when cave dwellers discovered that human stupidity was really kind of funny.
CUE THE MAYHEM!”
—Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES
THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR
Adapted by JEFFREY HATCHER
From Revizor by NIKOLAI GOGOL
Directed by JESSE BERGER
All politics are local. Gogol’s deeply silly satire of small-town corruption offers a riotous portrait of rampaging self-delusion. When the crooked leadership of a provincial village discovers that an undercover inspector is coming to root out their commonplace corruption, the town weaves a web of bribery, lies, and utter madness. This New York premiere of acclaimed playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s (Stage Beauty) adaptation offers a hilarious reminder of the terrifying timelessness of bureaucracy and buffoonery.
The inimitable Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty) led the all-star cast that included Arnie Burton, Stephen Derosa, Ryan Garbayo, Kelly Hutchinson, David Manis, Ben Mehl, David Manis, Michael McGrath, Talene Monahon, Luis Moreno, James Rana, Steven Rattazzi, Tom Alan Robbins, Mary Lou Rosato, Mary Testa, and William Youmans.
The Government Inspector is the most acclaimed comedy of the season:
“With its large cast and singular comic tone, it’s a challenging work to stage. But then the Red Bull Theater, celebrated for its productions of Jacobean revenge tragedies, has never shied from the difficult. For Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of The Government Inspector the director Jesse Berger has assembled a doozy of a cast, which includes such masters of mayhem as Arnie Burton, Stephen DeRosa, Mary Testa and the peerless Michael Urie.”
—Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES Critic's Pick
“Jesse Berger’s raucous production mixes the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, and Woody Allen. ARNIE BURTON does superlative double duty...and MARY TESTA earns big laughs just by changing the pitch of her voice.”
“DAZZLING! Witty, withering and endlessly entertaining, this is a drama for our times. MICHAEL URIE gives a performance that is close to flawless.”
— Joseph Cermatori, VILLAGE VOICE
“You won’t want to miss a moment of this zippy two-hour production which is full of laughs from beginning to end...Urie kills in this role.”
—Zachary Stewart, THEATERMANIA
“A gloriously silly mounting... with terrific sight gags and wacky antics performed by a top-shelf cast!”
—Michael Dale, BROADWAYWORLD
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS
Nikolai Gogol was born on April Fool’s Day in 1809 in the Ukraine, then part of Russia. His classmates at school, observing his various physical and social peculiarities, nicknamed him ‘‘the mysterious dwarf.’’ In 1828, Gogol arrived in Saint Petersburg, obtaining a low-level, low-paying post in the government bureaucracy. After an equally unrewarding stint at a second government post, Gogol began teaching at a girl’s boarding school in 1831. Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, Gogol’s two-volume collection of stories, derived from Ukrainian folklore, was published in 1831 and 1832 and was instantly well received, gaining Gogol the attention of Aleksandr Pushkin, Russia’s leading literary figure, who provided him with the idea for the plot of The Government Inspector. In 1834, Gogol began a position at Saint Petersburg University. Gogol quickly proved himself a resounding failure, and left this post after only one year. During that year, Gogol published two books of short stories, Mirgorod and Arabesques; a collection of essays; as well as two plays, Marriage and The Government Inspector. The Government Inspector was brought to the attention of the Tsar, who liked it so much that he requested the first theatrical production (1836). Gogol, reacting to heavy criticism by the government officials his play lampooned, declared that ‘‘everyone is against me’’ and left Russia. He spent the next twelve years in self-imposed exile. After Pushkin died in 1837, Gogol inherited the mantle as the leading Russian writer of the day. Gogol’s literary masterpiece Dead Souls and the first edition of his collected works were published in 1842. In 1848, he returned to Russia, settling in Moscow. In 1852, Gogol died, age 42, as the result of an extreme religious fast and absurdly bad doctoring.
Jeffrey Hatcher’s Broadway credits include Never Gonna Dance (book). Off-Broadway credits include Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club; Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages; Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at the Minetta Lane; Murder by Poe, The Turn of the Screw, and The Spy at The Acting Company; and Neddy at American Place. Other credits include Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, Confederacy of Dunces, The Critic, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and others at The Guthrie, Old Globe, Yale Rep, The Geffen, Seattle Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Arizona Theater Company, San Jose Rep, The Empty Space, Indiana Rep, Children’s Theater Company, History Theater, Madison Rep, Intiman, Illusion, Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Actors Theater of Louisville, Philadelphia Theater Company, Huntington, Shakespeare Theatre (D.C.), Asolo, City Theater, Studio Arena and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad. Film and television credits include Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess, Mr. Holmes, and episodes of “Columbo” and "The Mentalist." Grants/awards: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award Best New Play, and IVEY Award Best New Play. He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.
Photos by Carol Rosegg