As the curtain rises on Bertolt Brecht’s satire Arturo Ui, the city of Chicago has been terrorized by vicious attacks on its cauliflower shipments. But, to everyone’s relief, the eponymous Ui offers to protect cauliflower transit for a small fee. Shippers are, of course, free to engage Ui’s services or not, but when they choose “not”, there is the sound of machine gun fire offstage. Arturo Ui saves the city from this plague of cauliflower terrorism, and is elected mayor by a grateful citizenry. Brecht’s play was composed in 1941, at a time when the idea of a
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