The show, put on at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, doesn't advertise any ties to the president, but Eustis posted a note to the show's website on the meaning of "Julius Caesar" and its ties to democracy.
The decision to inject a Trump look-alike into the leading role in "Julius Caesar" is a provocative one, given both the famous assassination scene and a nude scene in the show.
The controversy comes just days after comedian Kathy Griffin found herself embroiled in scandal after posing for a photo holding the decapitated head of a fake Trump.
In announcing the production in Manhattan's Central Park earlier this year, the Public Theater said the play had "never felt more contemporary", and described the Roman leader as "magnetic, populist, irreverent, he seems bent on absolute power". The airline found issue with the summer production of Julius Caesar, featuring the assassination of the title character, who in this staging bears an unmistakable resemblance to Donald Trump.
Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDC, Maryland attorneys general to file suit against Trump Delta withdraws support for theater production with Trump-like Julius Caesar GOP senator: Trump "obviously" not under investigation MORE Jr., one of the president's adult sons, tweeted about the production, asking, "When does "art" become political speech & does that change things?"
A 2012 retelling of "Julius Caesar" at the Baruch Performing Arts Center set the play under Barack Obama's presidency amid "Occupy Rome" protests at the capital, complete with characters reimagined to represent Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell.
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"I think it's interesting, the analogies between ancient Roman politics and the politics of the United States now..."
Henry, who already played a Trump stand-in on "Scandal" previous year, models his Caesar nearly perfectly after the man in the Oval Office. "I think Trump would love to be compared to Julius Caesar, who was a great warrior; Trump is a very, very disturbed individual, very immature, and his sole philosophy is winning at all costs".
That includes Caesar, played by Gregg Henry, stepping naked from a bathtub. Critics say the production promotes violence against the president. "The institutions that we have grown up with, that we have inherited from the struggle of many generations of our ancestors, can be swept away in no time at all".
The production runs through June 18.
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