By Michael Gioia
04 Feb 2014
The new work, scheduled to play through March 9, will star Franca Sofia Barchiesi (A Park in Our House at NYTW) as Bemadette, Arielle Jacobs (In the Heights) as Lucila and Andhy Mendez ("Gossip Girl," "Orange is the New Black") as Saquiel.
Sotto Voce, according to Theater for the New City, "is a dream play in which a passionate, Jewish-Cuban young man (Saquiel) sets out to recover memories of the S.S. St. Louis which, in 1939, left Nazi Germany for Cuba filled with Jewish refugees but was turned back by Cuba, the U.S. and Canada. The young man's grandaunt was on the voyage. He seeks out a prominent, elderly, German-born novelist (Bemadette) who, as a young woman, loved a Jewish man who was a passenger to Cuba on the ship. Saquiel assumes the place of her lost lover in her powerful imagination. They both begin to fantasize a metaphysical love affair in which they share the conundrum of coming to grips with memories of that 'voyage of the damned.' She is trying to master them, he is seeking to understand them. The play venerates the supreme power of imagination that could bring these different people together. Such an impossible love could only occur in another dimension, not the physical dimension. As a counterpoint to their experience, we meet the author's understanding maid (Lucila), an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, who hordes her employer's discarded writings (her 'secret sorrows') but is incapable of living to such an extent."
Other members of the creative team include set designer Adrian Jones, lighting designer Alexander Bartenieff, costume designer Anita Yavich, sound designer Erik Lawson and production stage manager Charles Casano.
Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue. For more information and tickets, call (212) 254-1109 or visit TheaterForTheNewCity.net.