The Judas Tree, Inspired by Tale of True Crime, Gets World Premiere in NYC

News   The Judas Tree, Inspired by Tale of True Crime, Gets World Premiere in NYC The world premiere of The Judas Tree, by Mary Fengar Gail, will begin performances at the CSV Cultural Center's Teatro La Tea in Manhattan April 24-May 11.

Presented by MultiStages, The Judas Tree is set in a Chicano neighborhood in 1958 Los Angeles and loosely based on the real-life crimes of serial killer Dorothea Puente. According to the press notes, the play is "part courtroom drama and part macabre romance, replete with a set of turbulent dancing corpses and Latin influenced music."

Presented in a series of flashbacks, the story concerns a mysterious and beautiful Latina landlady, Elena Fiero, who runs a boarding house for an unfortunate mix of the elderly and troubled. When detective Arturo Salvia is hired to investigate the disappearance of his colleague's niece, he surreptitiously joins Elena's "family" of strays and suddenly finds himself falling hard for the tempting, self-described priestess. When one of her most frail tenants suddenly disappears, Arturo, along with the other boarders, grows suspicious. He sees no other course than to dig for possible evidence of a murder…"

MultiStages' artistic director Lorca Peress will direct, with original music by Anika Paris, lyrics by James Schevill, and choreography by Jennifer Chin.

The cast features Roseanne Medina (Kennedy Center), John Haggerty (Broadway's Les Miserables), Jose Febus (Hartford Stage), Daniel Hicks (Irish Arts Center), Lily Mercer ("Cashmere Mafia"), Tanya Perez (Laguna Playhouse) and Colleen Cosgrove (CSC).

Show times are Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, with performances at 5 PM on April 27 and May 5. There will be a special matinee May 11 at 2 PM. Tickets, priced at $12 and $18, are available through www.smarttix.com or by calling (212) 868 4444. Tickets for the opening night benefit on April 26 are $65. CSV Cultural Center's Teatro La Tea is located at 107 Suffolk Street.