Fur To Fly At Steppenwolf Studio, Jan. 19

News   Fur To Fly At Steppenwolf Studio, Jan. 19 Migdalia Cruz's darkly comic retelling of the Beauty & the Beast saga, called Fur, opens at Chicago's Steppenwolf Studio Theatre Jan. 19. A co-production between Steppenwolf and Latino Chicago, the show is directed by Ralph Flores.
Consuelo Allen as Nena in Fur

Consuelo Allen as Nena in Fur

Photo by Photo by Diana Solis.

Migdalia Cruz's darkly comic retelling of the Beauty & the Beast saga, called Fur, opens at Chicago's Steppenwolf Studio Theatre Jan. 19. A co-production between Steppenwolf and Latino Chicago, the show is directed by Ralph Flores. In Fur, Pet shop owner Michael falls in love with Citrona, a sideshow attraction who's part beauty, part beast. She, however, loves Nena, an animal trapper who lusts for Michael. Set in a desert landscape, Fur examines "the elusive character of beauty and the mystery of love."

"We all want to connect with someone and to find that `perfect' mate," director Ralph Flores said of the piece, "but the tragedy is that it's so rarely reciprocated. Fur takes an unflinching look at love, passion, lust and desire and examines individuals with the tenacity to go after these things at all costs, regardless of the consequences. The play asks us to be truly honest about who we are and our relationships in a way that can be quite frightening." Fur was first produced by Latino Chicago in 1995. It's the second play in Steppenwolf Studio's 1996-97 season, following Daniel J. Rubin's The Viewing Room. A member of Steppenwolf's 1995-96 New Plays Lab and currently commissioned to write plays on Puerto Rican political history for NY's Public Theatre, Cruz has had works staged at Playwrights Horizons, Houston Grand Opera and Foro Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in Mexico City.

Appearing in Fur are Consuelo Allen, Marilyn Dodds Frank and Raul Esparza. Sets and lighting are by Patrick Kerwin, sound by Erick Leonardson, costumes by Kama Lindsey.

Latino Chicago's mission is "to present profound artistic expressions of the Latino reality which go beyond stereotypes and the folkloric;" Steppenwolf's Studio Theatre allows the company to "explore its commitment to new plays, foster the growth...of other ensemble theatres, and provide a sheltered environment for artists...where risk, experimentation and cultural diversity are embraced."

For tickets ($14.50-$19.50) and information on Fur, which begins previews Jan. 15 and runs to Feb. 9, call (312) 335-1650, or refer to the Steppenwolf regional theatre listing on Playbill On-Line.

--By David Lefkowitz

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