Performances begin February 15 at Playwrights Horizons for the world premiere of Tori Sampson’s If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, directed by Leah C. Gardiner and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly. The new play, a finalist for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, is a contemporary riff on a West African fable brimming with live music and dance.
In the village of Affreakah-Amirrorkah, no one questions that Akim is the one true, perfect beauty—not even her jealous classmates. But they’ll be damned before they let her be the leading lady in this story. In If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, these frenemies jockey for their rank in a culture built on ideals forever out of reach.
The cast is made up of Rotimi Agbabiaka (regional productions of Bootycandy; Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3) as Chorus, Maechi Aharanwa (The Winter’s Tale, An Octoroon) as Ma, Jason Bowen (The Play That Goes Wrong, My Mañana Comes) as Dad, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (regional productions of Seven Guitars, The Model American) as Massassi, Ian Duff (Dutch Masters; Homeland) as Kasim, Níkẹ Uche Kadri (School Girls…, The Death of the Last Black Man…) as Akim, Mirirai Sithole (School Girls..., The Homecoming Queen) as Adama, and Phumzile Sitole (Orange Is the New Black, Elementary) as Kaya.
If Pretty Hurts is scheduled through March 31.
The creative team for the world premiere also includes Louisa Thompson (scenic designer), Dede M. Ayite (costume designer), Matt Frey (lighting designer), Ian Scot (original music and sound designer), Alyssa K. Howard (production stage manager), and Noah Silva (assistant stage manager).
For tickets and more information visit PlaywrightsHorizons.org.