Obama eased travel restrictions to Cuba, but the country 90 miles south still remains an enigma to most Americans. Its proximity and mystery inspired Minnesota composer Sage Lewis to create a multimedia production The Closest Farthest Away (La Extrañable Lejania) that would make this paradox of distance visible. Under the direction of Chi-wang Yang, American actors interact with projected videos of their Cuban counterparts onstage. The play follows separated lovers Amante and Ana, an American scientist and a Cuban doctor, as they struggle to reconnect.
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The Closest Farthest Away debuted in Havana in 2009, but only after the crew obtained a research license from the United States and after Cuban authorities verified the filmmakers were not Castro-hating spies. Requiring significantly less red tape, the U.S. premiere takes place this Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Byron Carlyle Theater, with performances through Saturday. If you have abuelos, tías, and primos still back in Cuba, bring some tissues.
Thu., March 11, 8 p.m., 2010