Hearts Grow Fonder

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.

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

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