Show Goes On: Coconut Grove's Sonia Flew, With Arnaz, Starts April 19

News   Show Goes On: Coconut Grove's Sonia Flew, With Arnaz, Starts April 19 Following a week of behind the scenes drama at Coconut Grove Playhouse that saw a brief shuttering of the bulding and news of a $4 million deficit, the theatre announced that the final show of its current season will indeed go on.

The playhouse is celebrating 50 years this season. Its staging of Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew starring Lucie Arnaz was in danger of not happening due to financial woes, but the Playhouse confirmed performances will begin April 19 toward an April 21 opening.

The production will play a shorter schedule than previously announced. Its post-Coconut Grove run at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale has been cancelled.

Sonia Flew will play two weeks, to April 30. Its originally announced third week, May 2-7, has been cancelled.

Directed by David Ellenstein, the play will mark the mother-daughter debut of Arnaz and Katherine D. Luckinbill. David Brumel, Matthew Dellapina, Yetta Gottesman and Robert Grossman round out the company.

Arnaz's Grove resume includes Once Removed, A Picasso and Ann and Debbie. Her Broadway debut was They're Playing Our Song, and she's expected to step into the pumps of Joanna Gleason in Broadway's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels this May. "Inspired by the moving plight and exodus of the 14,000 children of Cuba who found themselves separated from their parents to escape indoctrination by Fidel Castro in what became known in the 1960s as the years of the 'Pedro Pan' movement, Sonia Flew recalls the impact of those years on those who have now reached maturity and what those separations did to their lives," according to Coconut Grove Playhouse. "The play centers around a young girl put on a plane bound for U.S. soon after Castro rises to power."

Of Cuban descent, playwright/actress Melinda Lopez made her Coconut Grove debut in 2000 with her one-woman show, Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche. Sonia Flew won Boston's prestigious Elliot Norton Award as Outstanding New Script when produced by the Huntington Theater Company in 2004. Lopez was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award given by the Kennedy Center to a "promising new voice in American Theatre." In addition to her plays, which also includes the award-winning God Smells Like a Roast Pig, Lopez is an actress who has performed at the Guthrie Theatre, the Portland Stage Company, the New York Theatre Workshop and The Playwrights Collective.

Katherine D. Luckinbill, daughter of Lucie Arnaz and Lawrence Luckinbill, is a BFA performance major at the U. of Miami where she has appeared in Into the Woods, Cabaret and As You Like It.

Director David Ellenstein is a Grove alumnus of such earlier plays as Halpern and Johnson and The Chosen He is artistic director of North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, CA.

The production will have sets by Michael Anania, costumes by Ellis Tillman, lighting by Frances Aronson and sound by Steve Shapiro.

For more information, visit www.cgplayhouse.org or call (305) 442-4000.