Smits to Star in McCarter's Anna in the Tropics; Starry Cast Announced

News   Smits to Star in McCarter's Anna in the Tropics; Starry Cast Announced
Jimmy Smits will head the cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opus, Anna in the Tropics, this fall at the McCarter Theatre.

Jimmy Smits
Jimmy Smits Photo by Aubrey Reuben

According to a spokesperson for the New Jersey theatre, Smits will head the star-studded cast of Nilo Cruz's acclaimed work. The company will also include former Rent-er Daphne Rubin-Vega, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine Tony winner Priscilla Lopez and Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train's John Ortiz. Rounding out the cast are Vanessa Aspillaga and David Zayas

Anna in the Tropics will open the McCarter’s new Berlind Theatre in September, playing Sept. 9-Oct. 19.

Playwright Cruz — a former McCarter artist-in-residence — has set his play in a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929. The factory employs “lectors” to entertain and educate the factory workers, and a new lector who reads aloud from Anna Karenina becomes “a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination.”

McCarter Artistic Director Emily Mann will direct the mounting of Anna in the Tropics, which will have separate productions at two other theatres this year: Chicago’s Victory Garden and Costa Mesa’s South Coast Repertory.

A graduate of Brooklyn College with a theatre degree, Jimmy Smits appeared in the Public Theater’s productions of Hamlet and Ballad of Soapy Smith. The actor garnered an Emmy Award for his work on the NBC drama “L.A. Law” and also received multiple Emmy nominations for his role on “N.Y.P.D. Blue.” His other screen credits include “Old Gringo,” “Switch,” “My Family” and “Price of Glory.” Last summer, Smits appeared in the Public Theater’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park production of Twelfth Night.

The McCarter Theatre is located in Princeton, N.J., at 91 University Place. For more information, visit

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