Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Wicked), Casa Valentina will begin previews April 1 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre prior to an official Broadway opening April 23.
"Back in 1962, most men went to the Catskill Mountains to escape the summer heat, but others took the two-hour drive to escape something else entirely: being men," press notes state. "Nestled in the land of dirty dancing and borscht belt comedy sat an inconspicuous bungalow colony that catered to a very special clientele: heterosexual men whose favorite pastime was dressing and acting as women. It was paradise for these men — white-collar professionals with families — to spend their weekends discreetly and safely inhabiting their chosen female alter egos. But when faced with the opportunity to become an official organization, these 'self-made women' had to decide whether public recognition would help them gain a place in open society or spell their own personal disaster."
Inspired by factual events, Fierstein's play is based on a true location, the Chevalier d’Eon resort – also known as Casa Susana – the subject of the 2005 Michael Hurst-Robert Swope photo book "Casa Susana," which features a collection of intimate, candid and carefree snapshots of men in the 1950s-1960s who would gather at a rural home in New Jersey to dress and live as women.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.