Nilo Cruz' Pulitzer Winner, Anna in the Tropics, Begins at NJ's McCarter Sept. 9

News   Nilo Cruz' Pulitzer Winner, Anna in the Tropics, Begins at NJ's McCarter Sept. 9 Jimmy Smits will head the cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opus, Anna in the Tropics, which begins previews Sept. 9 at the McCarter Theatre of Princeton, New Jersey, with Broadway the next possible step.

The company also includes former Rent-er Daphne Rubin-Vega, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine Tony-winner Priscilla Lopez and Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train's John Ortiz. Rounding out the cast are Vanessa Aspillaga and David Zayas.

Anna in the Tropics will open the McCarter's new Roger S. Berlind Theatre and run through Oct. 19.

Berlind himself, along with producer Daryl Roth, may bring the production to Broadway following its New Jersey premiere. Berlind, who characterized Anna as a "beautiful play," confirmed to Playbill On-Line Sept. 4 that Broadway is the goal and that the Manhattan production would likely retain the New Jersey cast.

Playwright Cruz — a former McCarter artist-in-residence — has set his play in a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929. The factory employs "lectors" to entertain and educate the factory workers, and a new lector who reads aloud from Anna Karenina becomes "a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination."

McCarter artistic director Emily Mann will direct the play, which will have separate productions at two other theatres this year: Chicago's Victory Garden and Costa Mesa's South Coast Repertory. The McCarter Theatre is located in Princeton, N.J., at 91 University Place. For more information, call (609) 258-2787 or visit www.mccarter.org.