On December 3rd at 8pm, the classic play the JEW OF MALTA by Christopher Marlowe will be performed in a stage-reading version, starring David Serero as Barabas. This one night only performance will feature Sephardic songs, sung by actor and opera star David Serero, at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th St. New York NY 10011).
The cast will include David Serero (Barabas), Ron Barba (Ferneze), Christopher Romero Wilson (Ithamore), Andreas Pliatsikas (Calymath), Nathan Louis Oesterle (Jew/Merchant), and Shawn Chang (Piano).
The evening is presented by the American Sephardi Federation.
Tickets are $26 & $36 (VIP seating) and can be purchased on http://jewofmalta.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006.
About the JEW OF MALTA
The Jew of Malta is a play by Christopher Marlowe, probably written in 1589 or 1590. The plot is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean that takes place on the island of Malta. The title character, Barabas, dominates the play’s action.
There has been extensive debate about the play’s portrayal of Jews and how Elizabethan audiences would have viewed it. The Jew of Malta is considered to have been a major influence on William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Barabas begins the play in his counting-house. Stripped of all he has for protesting the Governor of Malta’s seizure of the wealth of the country’s whole Jewish population to pay off the warring Turks, he develops a murderous streak by, with the help of his slave Ithamore, tricking the Governor’s son and his friend into fighting over the affections of his daughter, Abigail. When they both die in a duel, he becomes further incensed when Abigail, horrified at what her father has done, runs away to become a Christian nun. In retribution, Barabas then goes on to poison her along with the whole of the nunnery, strangles an old friar (Barnadine) who tries to make him repent for his sins and then frames another friar (Jacomo) for the first friar’s murder. After Ithamore falls in love with a prostitute who conspires with her criminal friend to blackmail and expose him (after Ithamore drunkenly tells them everything his master has done), Barabas poisons all three of them. When he is caught, he drinks “of poppy and cold mandrake juice” so that he will be left for dead, and then plots with the enemy Turks to besiege the city.
When at last Barabas is nominated governor by his new allies, he switches sides to the Christians once again. Having devised a trap for the Turks’ galley slaves and soldiers in which they will all be demolished by gunpowder, he then sets a trap for the Turkish prince himself and his men, hoping to boil them alive in a hidden cauldron. Just at the right moment, however, the former governor emerges and causes Barabas to fall into his own trap. The Christians and Turks agree to resolve their conflict without violence while the Jew curses them as he burns.
About DAVID SERERO
Actor and baritone, David Serero, has received international recognition and critical acclaim from all over the world. At only 36 years old, he has already performed more than 1,200 concerts and performances throughout the world and played in over 100 films and recorded 20 albums. He has given concerts in Paris at the PARIS OPERA GARNIER, OLYMPIA, EIFFEL TOWER; in New York at the LINCOLN CENTER, CARNEGIE HALL, TIMES SQUARE; in London at the ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC, WEMBLEY STADIUM; and in Moscow at the TCHAIKOVSKY HALL; in Amsterdam at the CONCERTGEBOUW, the BUDAPEST OPERA conducted by PLACIDO DOMINGO and more. He made his sold out WEST END debuts at the Dominion Theatre. He has sung more than 30 lead roles in Opera, Operetta and Musical Theater. In 2012, David Serero performed Don Quixote from MAN OF LA MANCHA in Paris and the title role from the revival of Duke Ellington’s only musical: BEGGAR’S HOLIDAY and also starred in the cast album recording. In 2013, David performed with JERMAINE JACKSON in YOU ARE NOT ALONE, a musical written, directed and produced by David Serero. He has also produced and arranged I WISH YOU LOVE an album of Jazz standards for Jermaine Jackson. In December 2013, David shared the cover of Theatre & Performances with Barbra Streisand in London, and made his BROADWAY solo debut at the Snapple Theatre in New York and released his first studio album ALL I CARE ABOUT IS LOVE. In 2014, he released The Broadway Baritone featuring Broadway classics and toured in the UK with a performance on WEST END. During the summer 2014, he recorded the entire love letters’s correspondence of NAPOLEON to Josephine and released his new studio album THE CROONER BARITONE, The FRANK SINATRA Classics for the 100th anniversary of Sinatra. In 2015 and 2016, he played Off Broadway the lead roles of SHYLOCK (MERCHANT OF VENICE) and OTHELLO’s title role with both critical acclaim. In 2015, he performed two open-air concerts on TIMES SQUARE (New York) for BEST OF FRANCE with the presence of the French President Mr Francois Hollande. He released SEPHARDI, an album of Sephardic music in Ladino language and records the title role of RICHARD III in French. In 2016, he releases ALL MY LOVE IS FOR YOU, a Pop Rock album, entirely composed, performed, arranged and produced by himself. He also played NABUCCO (Nabucco) in New York; and the title roles of DON GIOVANNI and RIGOLETTO at the CARNEGIE HALL. David Serero has his own radio show The Culture News broadcast on iHeart Radio, iTunes, Google Play and several others platforms. In 2017, David entered the prestigious WHO’S WHO AMERICA for demonstrating outstanding achievements in the entertainment world and for the betterment of contemporary society. In 2018, he releases BARITONE OPERA ARIAS, singing opera classics such as Toreador (Carmen) and from operas Tosca, Nozze di Figaro, Fanciulla del West and Barbiere di Siviglia.
Among his future engagements in New York for 2017/2018 are the title roles of CYRANO OF BERGERAC (Rostand), DON GIOVANNI (Mozart), BARABAS (Marlowe’s Jew of Malta), Hermann (World Premiere adaptation of the Queen of Spades) and KING LEAR (Jacob Gordin’s The YIDDISH KING LEAR). Full biography on www.davidserero.com
About the AMERICAN SEPHARDI FEDERATION
The American Sephardi Federation, a Partner of the landmark Center for Jewish History, proudly preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience.
ASF hosts high-profile events (NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival) and exhibitions, produces widely-read online (Sephardi World Weekly and Sephardi Ideas Monthly) and print (The Sephardi Report) publications, supports research, scholarship, and the National Sephardic Library, and represents the Sephardi voice in diplomatic and Jewish communal affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress.
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