Nilo Cruz Paints a Landscape of Tangled Lives in Beauty of the Father, Opening at MTC

News   Nilo Cruz Paints a Landscape of Tangled Lives in Beauty of the Father, Opening at MTC An artist's home overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Granada, Spain, is the setting for Nilo Cruz's Beauty of the Father, opening Jan. 10 in its New York City premiere.
Oscar Isaac in Beauty of the Father.
Oscar Isaac in Beauty of the Father. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Pulitzer Prize winning Cruz (Anna in the Tropics) offers a sun-drenched world heavy with perfumed, metaphor-rich language about life, art, mortality and love. Tangled relationships — sexual, platonic, mystical — fill the five-character play. In it, a middle-aged artist who has conversations with the ghost of murdered playwright-poet Federico Garcia Lorca welcomes his estranged daughter to the home he shares with a young Moroccan lover and a middle-aged woman who has married the boy.

Manhattan Theatre Club began Beauty previews at City Center Stage II, Off-Broadway, Dec. 15. 2005. Performances continue to Feb. 19.

Michael Greif (Rent, Mr. Marmalade) directs a cast that includes Ritchie Coster (Emiliano, the painter), Oscar Isaac (Federico Garcia Lorca), Priscilla Lopez (Paquita, the middle-aged woman who plans to eventually marry Emiliano), Pedro Pascal (Karim, Emiliano's lover and Paquita's wife) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Marina, Emiliano's 25-year-old daughter).

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Tony Award winner Lopez is a veteran of A Chorus Line, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine and MTC's newyorkers. Here's how MTC bills the play: "A young woman (Rodriguez) travels to Spain to visit her estranged father (Coster) and quickly becomes immersed in his vibrant, artistic world. But will a charming young Moroccan suitor (Pascal) stand in the way of their reconciliation?"

Cruz made his Broadway debut with Anna in the Tropics, which won the Pulitzer prior to its appearance in New York (its debut was in the regional theatre, a rarity for Pulitzer winners). His other works include Lorca in a Green Dress, Night Train to Bolina, A Bicycle Country, Dancing on Her Knees, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and a Piano and Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams. Cruz is one of this country's most produced Cuban-American writers; his work has been developed and performed at McCarter Theatre Center, NYSF/Public Theater, NY Theatre Workshop, New Theatre (Coral Gables), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Florida Stage, the Alliance (Atlanta), the Studio Theatre (Washington D.C.), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), Victory Gardens (Chicago), Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami), the Children's Theatre of Minneapolis, Lee Strasberg Theatre (L.A.) and Salt Lake Acting Company.

Beauty of the Father received its world premiere at Miami's New Theatre and had a subsequent production in Seattle.

The MTC Beauty creative team features Mark Wendland (set design), Miranda Hoffman (costume design), Jim Ingalls (lighting design), Darron L. West (sound design), Deborah Hecht (dialect coach), Rick Sordelet (fight director).

Lopez previously appeared on Broadway in Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics. She appeared Off-Broadway in Class Mothers '68, a six-character, one-woman play, receiving a Drama Desk nomination. In A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine on Broadway, she won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance as Harpo Marx. She received a Tony nomination and an Obie Award as Diana Morales in A Chorus Line, where she introduced the song "What I Did for Love."

The performance schedule for Beauty of the Father Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 PM, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM.

Tickets are $48 and can be reserved by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212. Group and student rates are available. For group ticket information, call (212) 399-3000 ext. 134. Student tickets are $25 and are on sale for all performances based on availability on the day of the performance, up to one hour before showtime. Call (212) 581-1212 for further information.

For more information visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

From Left: Ritchie Coster, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Priscilla Lopez in <i>Beauty of the Father</i>.
From Left: Ritchie Coster, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Priscilla Lopez in Beauty of the Father. Photo by Joan Marcus
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