Nilo Cruz's Two Sisters and a Piano at The Public Theater in New York City will officially open on Feb. 15. Before even opening, Cruz's play was extended to March 12, due to "overwhelming ticket demand."
Directed by Loretta Greco, Two Sisters began previews Feb. 1 at The Public's Shiva Theater. It had been set to run to March 5.
Daphne Rubin-Vega, known as Rent's original Mimi, will star alongside Paul Calderon, Gary Perez and Adriana Sevan in the New York City premiere of Cuban writer Cruz's portrait of the personal and political in 1991 Cuba.
In the play, two sisters -- the elder a romance writer (Sevan), the younger a pianist (Rubin-Vega) -- are under house arrest in 1991 Cuba, having been delivered from two years in prison for signing a petition demanding more personal freedoms in Castro's Cuba. Against the background of a crumbling Soviet Union, the writer sister becomes close with an army lieutenant (Calderon) who finds himself unduly fascinated with the two women. The piece is inspired by a true story.
Cruz previously saw his Dancing on Her Knees staged at The Public, in 1997. Two Sisters and a Piano received the Kennedy Center Award for New American Plays and the Barrie Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference. Greco directed a previous staging of Two Sisters at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, CA, in 1999. Calderon appeared in The Public's Dancing on Her Knees, Perez was in Cruz's A Park in Our House at New York Theatre Workshop, and Sevan played the same role (Maria Celia) in Two Sisters at South Coast Rep.
Rubin-Vega was a Tony Award nominee for Rent and most recently appeared in New York in Gum for Women's Project and Productions.
Designers are Robert Brill (set), James Vermeulen (lighting), Alex Jaeger (costume) and Fabian Obispo (sound).
The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival is located at 425 Lafayette St., in Manhattan.
Tickets are $45. Call (212) 239-6200 for information.
--By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones