Written by and starring Anika Larsen (Xanadu, Avenue Q), Shafrika was co-conceived and directed by April Nickell. The production, which began previews June 12, officially opened June 21.
The cast also includes Chloe Campbell, Anthony Comis, Stephen Gelpi, Chris Harbur, John Harrison, Ricardo Hinoa, Amanda Hunt, Mario Martinez, Stephanie Martinez, Zonya Love, Liz Piccoli, Elizabeth Racanelli, Eileen Rivera, Lawrence Stallings, Shelley Thomas and Gregory Treco.
Shafrika features book and lyrics by Larsen, with original music composed by Tim Acito, Joshua Henry and Janice Lowe. The new musical, according to press notes, "tells Anika Larsen's own story of growing up in Cambridge, MA with nine brothers and sisters who are Black, White, Asian, Latino, and Native American. The 17-member cast portrays the many people in her world who help to shape Anika's identity while being raised in such a unique rainbow family. Along the way, she's forced to grapple with the truth in this unique and quirky exploration of race, identity and family."
Luis Salgado choreographs the production with musical direction by Karl Mansfield. The production also features scenic design by Josh Zangen, lighting by Herrick Goldman, costumes by Andrea Varga and sound by Mike Farfalla.
Anika Larsen, who was most recently seen in the national tour of Avenue Q, played Euterpe in Broadway's Xanadu and has also been seen on Broadway in All Shook Up and Rent and Off-Broadway in Zanna, Don't!; Miracle Brothers; and How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes. She will join the cast of Broadway's Avenue Q July 6. Jaradoa (Just A Roomful of Artists Doing Outreach And) Theater is a company of professional theatre artists – actors, directors, writers, and designers – who have come together to "promote mercy, beauty, and truth through performance and service. They are committed to creating theater while serving the community at large through theater outreach and partnerships with relief organizations."
The Vineyard is located at 108 East 15th Street (between Union Square East and Irving Place). Tickets are $18 and are available through www.SmartTix.com (212) 868-4444. For more information visit www.JaradoaTheater.org.