Monday, December 9, 2013



How do you believe a man who proudly proclaims he is insane, crazy and a lunatic?  After spending time in sixteen different insane asylums, he has learned a lot about his unstable station in life.  Stephen Epp is the memorable maniac of the moment and the silly soul at the heart of Dario Fo's "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" delighting audiences at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven until Saturday, December 21.

Imagine you are trapped in a taverna masquerading as a police station in Milan, Italy as the inept inspector is interrogating a man who will confess to anything and everything, the Maniac in question.  When the inspector (Jesse J. Perez) and his assistant (Eugene Ma) are called away, the Maniac intercepts a phone call from upstairs that leads him to insinuate himself into a pending politically charged police matter.

The Maniac magically tranforms himself into a judge and with brilliant bluffing and a judicial disguise joyfully finds himself presiding over the question of the hour:  did a railway clerk commit a bank bombing resulting in multiple deaths?  The anarchist has been captured and is being interrogated, for many days, and mysteriously dies.  Did he jump or was he pushed from the fourth floor window?  The Maniac/Judge is determined to discover the truth.

Soon the upper eschalon, the Superintendent (Liam Craig) and his associate Pissani (Allen Gilmore) are adding their versions of what took place.  Everything, the lies and the coverups, comes to a halt when a sharp penciled female reporter Feletti (Molly Bernard) charges in to find the real story.

"Accidental Death of an Anarchist" is based on a true incident that took place in Milan in 1969, and has been adapted by Gavin Richards, from a translation by Gillian Hanna, under the brilliant direction of Christopher Bayes.  Since 1983 Bayes has collaborated with Epp, and an astonishing Commedia troupe of actors is the result.  You'll delight in all the contemporary references liberally sprinkled throughout the script, as well as the infectious musical accompaniment provided by Aaron Halva and Nathan A. Roberts.  This show is being co-produced with the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California.

For tickets ($57-78), call the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven at 203-432-1234 or online at Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Watch how master magician Dario Fo, with the aid of the talented current actor accomplices, transforms a terrorist attack into a fascinating and funny farce, strictly for your entertainment pleasure.

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