No Cigar: Pulitzer Play Anna in the Tropics Ends Broadway Run Feb. 22

News   No Cigar: Pulitzer Play Anna in the Tropics Ends Broadway Run Feb. 22
 
Anna in the Tropics, the Nilo Cruz drama set in a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929 Florida, failed to catch fire with Broadway audiences and so will close Feb. 22.
David Zayas in Anna in the Tropics
David Zayas in Anna in the Tropics Photo by Joan Marcus

By close, the production will have played 15 previews and 113 performances.

Cruz, who collected the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, also collected his first official Broadway credit on Nov. 16, 2003, when the poetical drama officially opened at the Royale Theatre. Anna in the Tropics premiered in Florida and visited Chicago and New Jersey (in separate stagings) before setting a foot on a Broadway stage.

The Broadway production came direct from Princeton's McCarter Theatre with the New Jersey cast intact. The show stars Jimmy Smits, Daphne Rubin Vega, Priscilla Lopez, John Ortiz, Vanessa Aspillaga, Victor Argo and David Zayas. Emily Mann directs.

Previews began Nov. 4, 2003. Anna ended at the McCarter Theatre Oct. 19.

The factory in Anna 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." Anna was the first play since Robert Schenkkan's The Kentucky Cycle to win the Pulitzer without having had a production in New York.

Cruz's other plays include Night Time to Bolina, A Park in Our House, Dancing on Her Knees and Two Sisters and a Piano. The latter two were both presented at the Public Theater, the largest New York productions Cruz has received.

Anna in the Tropics was commissioned by the New Theatre in Coral Gables, FL. Cruz was playwright-in-residence there during the 2001-2002 season. Anna premiered at the New Theatre during the 2002-03 season.

The Broadway producers are Roger Berlind, Daryl Roth and Ray Larsen, in association with Robert G. Bartner.

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The next tenant at the Royale will be the new production of Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad.

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