Inner City Story: La Jolla's Milk Like Sugar, With Tonya Pinkins and Angela Lewis, Opens

News   Inner City Story: La Jolla's Milk Like Sugar, With Tonya Pinkins and Angela Lewis, Opens The La Jolla Playhouse world-premiere production of Milk Like Sugar, an inner-city-set, coming-of-age play by Kirsten Greenidge, featuring Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, opens Sept. 6 following previews from Aug. 30 in California.

Angela Lewis and J. Mallory McCree
Angela Lewis and J. Mallory McCree Photo by Craig Schwartz

The staging by Rebecca Taichman (La Jolla's Sleeping Beauty Wakes) plays to Sept. 25 in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre in La Jolla, CA. The play is a co-commission with Theatre Masters, produced in association with New York City's Playwrights Horizons and The Women's Project.

The cast of Milk Like Sugar also features Cherise Boothe, Angela Lewis, Nikiya Mathis, LeRoy McClain, J. Mallory-McCree and Adrienne C. Moore. 

Lewis plays Annie, who is at the center of the play about "being stuck in a dead-end town," according to La Jolla notes. The 16-year old Annie and her friends decide to create their own future "by entering into a life-changing pact together." Annie begins to question what she really wants. "With savage humor and gritty poetry, Kirsten Greenidge's new play explores the challenges of choosing between the safety of the life you know and the danger of the life you desire."

Greenidge is the author of the plays Bossa Nova (Yale Rep), The Gibson Girl (Moxie Theatre, Company One), The Luck of the Irish, Rust (Magic Theatre), The Curious Walk of the Salamander, Sans-Culottes in the Promised Land (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and 103 Within the Veil (Company One).

"Milk Like Sugar presents a stark and startling portrait of a group of indomitable young women for whom life offers few options," Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley said in a statement. "Kirsten's is a singular American voice, and this moving story will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds." Tony Pinkins won a Tony Award for Jelly's Last Jam and was nominated for Play On! and Caroline, or Change.

The creative team includes Mimi Lien (scenic designer); Toni Leslie James (costume designer); Justin Townsend (lighting designer); Andre Pluess (sound designer); Gabriel Greene (dramaturg).

Tickets are available by calling the box office at (858) 550-1010 or visiting LaJollaPlayhouse.org.

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Milk Like Sugar is a recipient of a 2011 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. Granted to TCG member theaters across the U.S., the awards allow theatres the opportunity for extra time in the development and rehearsal of new plays with the entire creative team. Directed by Brad and Louise Edgerton, the program was launched nationally in 2007 and has supported 128 plays to date in 50 different theatres across the country.

The play's Off-Broadway premiere will be Oct. 13-Nov. 20 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Some members of the La Jolla cast will play the New York engagement.

Nikiya Mathis, Cherise Boothe, Angela Lewis and LeRoy McClain
Nikiya Mathis, Cherise Boothe, Angela Lewis and LeRoy McClain Photo by Craig Schwartz
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