In the musical Othello, Sophocles ironically plays a character who is disgraced on Broadway. In the play, the part of Antony is played by Costa Manca who in real life was a boxer and a Mafia member. The role was originated by Richard Burton, who also did the play Aladdin. Both these actors made history on Broadway and paved the way for more plays and performances by such talents.
Othello was a play written by Shakespeare. It was one of his most famous works, where he tackles the sin of adultery. The play was later to become the first musical to receive three Academy Awards. For this accomplishment, the company and the cast were nominated for an Academy Award.
Othello was produced by the company of Shakespeare. After several years, the company no longer had the budget to produce it on Broadway. This is because the market was at that time saturated with T.V shows and movies that were animated and presented with special effects that many found very appealing. So the company moved the play to Hollywood and after a few more years it was still as popular there as ever.
The cast for the play was incredibly diverse with several people from the acting business having small parts in the play. This included George C. Scott, who was seen in films such as Gone With The Wind. Jack Nicholson had a small role as did Marlon Brando disgracedonbroadway who of course did The Godfather. But the best thing about Othello is of course the amazing work of its director, Othmar Webber. He took the play and the characters to a whole new level that is still being done today with his musical productions.
The musical company was run by Luciano Piccinini. He hired a large cast and crew that brought the Othello production to a whole new level. As stated before it featured a wide variety of talents and the end result was nothing short of amazing. This is because the company’s set up was quite unique compared to other theaters of its era. For example, they had an all-boys band that was an amalgamation of popular Italian pop and rock music.
The company’s other secret was their use of classical Italian songs instead of popular selections. This enabled an unprecedented number of younger audience members to be exposed to these types of songs which helped to boost Othello’s popularity even further. However you can see why the musical was so successful when you realize just how much versatility there was within its cast. There were almost certainly a few individuals who could sing well and play a few instruments as well.
There are two different musical eras that the Othello musical plays during its life on Broadway. First there was the Original cast which lasted from early 1940s right up until the late eighties. Then there was the New York Cast which lasted until the early nineties. During this time period the play was successfully brought back for a second run, this time with a completely different cast, with a different director and a completely different plan.
Within the first year the play received rave reviews both from the New York Times and New York Post. In fact many critics were so impressed with the company’s efforts that they declared the musical a masterpiece. The next year the musical went back on the market after a successful run at the Venice Film Festival. Sadly, within a year the company’s popularity had faded considerably. The musical was not alone in this as other plays that had been performing on Broadway for many years failed to perform despite positive notices.