John Ortiz Stars in Rivera's Premiere Adoration of the Old Woman Sept. 17-Oct. 20

News   John Ortiz Stars in Rivera's Premiere Adoration of the Old Woman Sept. 17-Oct. 20 Latino playwright Jose Rivera contemplates Puerto Rico's uncertain future in Adoration of the Old Woman, a world premiere comissioned for La Jolla Playhouse. John Ortiz, critically acclaimed in New York and London for his leading role in Jesus Hopped the A Train, stars as Cheo in this production directed by Obie winner Jo Bonney (References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, also starring Ortiz).
John Ortiz, Tamara Mello and Gary Perez in Adoration of the Old Woman.
John Ortiz, Tamara Mello and Gary Perez in Adoration of the Old Woman. (Photo by Photo by J.T. MacMillan)

Latino playwright Jose Rivera contemplates Puerto Rico's uncertain future in Adoration of the Old Woman, a world premiere comissioned for La Jolla Playhouse. John Ortiz, critically acclaimed in New York and London for his leading role in Jesus Hopped the A Train, stars as Cheo in this production directed by Obie winner Jo Bonney (References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, also starring Ortiz).

The old woman of the drama is the 105-year-old Dona Belen, a widow literally haunted by Adoration, the ghost of her dead husband's lover. Vanessa, a troubled New Jersey teen, is sent to live with Belen in Puerto Rico to escape her problems back home, but instead, she finds herself embroiled in questions of Puerto Rico's independence, embodied by her conflicted love of both Cheo and Ismael.

Rivera has his fourth world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse with Adoration of the Old Woman. His Marisol, Cloud Tectonics and Maricela de la Luz Lights the World also had their premieres there.

Ivonne Coll (Broadway's Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Goodbye, Fidel) stars as Dona Belen with Tamara Mello ("Tortilla Soup," "Popular") as Vanessa. Also in the cast are Marisol Padilla Sanchez (La Chunga) as Adoration and Gary Perez (co-founder of New York's LABrynth Theatre) as Ismael.

The design team features sets by Neil Patel, costumes by Emilio Sosa (Topdog/Underdog), lighting by Christopher Akerlind (Randy Newman's Faust) and sound by Darron West (Wait Until Dark). La Jolla Playhouse is located on the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Torrey Pines Road. For tickets, call (858) 550-1010. La Jolla Playhouse is on the web at http://www.lajollaplayhouse.com.

— By Christine Ehren