Eileen Suarez

The Color of Desire: Pulitzer Prize-winning Miamian Nilo Cruz might have jumped the shark with The Color of Desire. What a pity! It could have been so, so good, if only Cruz had subjected his work to another rewrite or two, and if only director David Arisco had allowed the play to be what it so clearly wanted to be: a symbolic, highly figurative meditation on love, lust, and control, set at the violent apex of the Cuban revolution. But The Color of Desire was produced instead as realism. This is, after all, a script about a Cuban actress seduced by an American entrepreneur who demands that, in the bedroom, she play the role of his long-lost love. The forced charade becomes strange and dark. The actress weaponized her role, even as the American became a sexual totalitarian. This production bleached the conflict of its darkness and mystery. A more serious disconnect between script and director I have seldom seen. (The moral: David, you're the best musical theater director in the southeast! Stop mucking around with this stuff!)

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