Inspired by the rhythms of flamenco, Bernarda Alba tells a story of longing, despair and desire.
The House of Bernarda Alba, renowned playwright Federico García Lorca’s final play, on which the new musical, Bernarda Alba, is based, was written in 1936, the same year in which the illustrious Spanish poet and playwright was executed by General Francisco Franco’s militia soon after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Lorca became a symbol for the thousands of martyred Spaniards who fell victim to Fascist tyranny.
The title character in the musical, played by Phylicia Rashad, proclaims that she and her household—her five grown daughters, her mother, her servants—will observe a long period of mourning, following the funeral of her second husband. “Not a breath of outside air is going to enter this house,” Bernarda declares. “It's going to feel like we've bricked up the doors and windows.” The outside world of their village, however, seeps in. Despite Bernarda’s tyrannical measures, the daughters’ desires collide with their mother's iron rule.
In addition to Rashad, the show also stars Daphne Rubin-Vega, Yolande Bavan, Judith Blazer, Candy Buckley, Nikki M. James, Sally Murphy, Saundra Santiago, Laura Shoop, and Nancy Ticotin.
Composer/Lyricist Michael John LaChiusa (Giant
, See What I Wanna See
, Marie Christine
, Little Fish
) brought the world premiere of Bernarda Alba to the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in NYC–an ideally intimate setting for the piece. Graciela Daniele (Dessa Rose, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Marie Christine, Hello Again
) directed and choreographed.