PURE EVIL

Philip Seymour Hoffman gets in touch with his wicked side

Don’t believe a word Philip Seymour Hoffman says. Sure, the rumpled actor delivers dependable (and often remarkable) performances, but in his latest stage outing, he’ll play that least trustworthy of villains: the motivelessly malign Iago, opposite John Ortiz’s noble Moor in Othello. In a collaboration between LAByrinth Theater company and famed director Peter Sellars, the Public Theater presents Shakespeare’s tragedy of political intrigue and personal anguish. Sellars aims to give Othello’s poesy a contemporary sheen, relating its stratagems and ambitions to contemporary American practices. As for the production itself, as Iago says, “When devils will the blackest sins put on/They do suggest at first with heavenly shows.” Dare we trust him?
Saturdays, 1 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Starts: Sept. 12. Continues through Oct. 4, 2009

 
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