Theater: THE PLAY YOU WANT (The Road Theatre Company in North Hollywood)

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by Tony Frankel on January 20, 2022

in Theater-Los Angeles


The Road Theatre Company returns to live performances with three plays performing in repertory, beginning and re-opening with the world premiere of The Play That You Want, written by Bernardo Cubría and directed by Michael John Garcés.  THE PLAY YOU WANT will begin previews on Tuesday, March 1; will open on Friday, March 4 at 8pm and run through Sunday, April 17 at the Road Theatre, located in The NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood.

Fed-up by the theatre world’s desires to box him in, Mexican playwright Cubría sarcastically pitches “Nar-Cocos” a play about drug dealers on Dia de los Muertos. Much to his surprise, the Public Theatre picks it up. With financial pressures mounting and a newborn at home, this is his chance at a commercial success. But when Scott Rudin offers him a Broadway run on the condition he further exploit his identity and the headlines, he must decide just how much he’s willing to compromise in order to finally be accepted.

I was gobsmacked by Cubría’s play The Giant Void In My Soul, a world premiere that I wrote “is, quite simply, brilliant. This is not only the best play in Los Angeles right now, but has filled the void in my soul caused by the dearth of great new plays. Thrillingly written, it’s Beckett for the modern age, except that the engrossing and funny quest for meaning and observational commentary doesn’t feel desultory or depressing, nor does it lead to suicidal silence.” His play, which received a reading at Circle in the Square on Broadway in 2019, was rightfully nominated for best playwright at The Ovation Awards, Stage Raw Awards, and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. It will be produced at Luna Stage in 2022, and the Foro Shakespeare in Mexico City in 2022.

Garcés is the artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company, a community-engaged ensemble based in Los Angeles.  Recent projects include The Rivers Don’t Know by James McManus (City Theatre), Seize the King by Will Power (The Alliance Theatre); The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse (The Geffen Playhouse); The Royale by Marco Ramirez (Arizona Theatre Company); the just and the blind by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center); and, for Cornerstone, Highland Park is Here by Mark Valdez, Native Nation and Urban Rez by Larissa FastHorse and What Happens Next by Naomi Iizuka.

The Cast of THE PLAY YOU WANT will feature: Peter Pasco as “Bernardo,” Chelsea Gonzalez as “Vera,” Natalie Llerena as “Chloe/Mija/J.Lo,” Jonathan Nichols as “Gilbert Cruz/Alfred Molina,” Roland Ruiz as “Lin Manuel Miranda/Mijo/Pablo/John Leguizamo,” Christopher Larkin as “Sam Gold/Chay Yew/Variety Reporter,” Stewart J. Zully as “Oskar Eustis/Scott Rudin,” and Presciliana Esparolini as “Abuela/Gloria Estefan.”

The Play You Want
The Road Theatre Company
Road Theatre at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony
10747 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood
Fri and Sat at 8; Sun at 2 thru April 3;
continues in rep, Thurs, April 7 at 8; Sat at 2pm & Sun at 7:30pm thru April 17
March 1-April 17, 2022 (dark March 25-27)
for tickets and play rep info, call 818.761.8838 or visit Road Theatre

Ticket prices are $39; Students and Seniors are $15.00; Previews are $15.00. Sunday Performances are Pay-What-You-Can. Three Play Season Pass is $75.00. Special group rates available for parties of 8 or more.

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