Michael John LaChiusa's The Gardens of Anuncia officially opened its New York premiere Off-Broadway via Lincoln Center Theater November 20 after beginning previews October 19 at the company's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater—and the reviews are in. The run continues through December 31. Tony honoree Graciela Daniele is directing and choreographing, and she's said the production will serve as the end to her nearly 60-year career on the stage.
Inspired by an early life story of Daniele's, the tango-infused musical centers on Anuncia as she reflects on her childhood in Juan Perón's Argentina and the women in her family who encouraged her artistic dreams. The musical made its world premiere in September 2021 at The Old Globe in San Diego, California. The book, music, and lyrics are all by LaChiusa.
Playing those women are Mary Testa as Granmama, Andréa Burns as Tía, and Eden Espinosa as Mami. Kalyn West and Tony winner Priscilla Lopez are Younger and Older (respectively) Anuncia, the role inspired by Daniele. The cast also features Enrique Acevedo as Granpapa/That Man/The Priest/Moustache Brother and Tally Sessions as The Deer/Moustache Brother. Understudies Debra Cardona, Vanessa Sierra, Francisca Muñoz, and Scott Ahearn round out the company. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting's Xavier Rubiano.
Read the reviews below.
*This review may require creating a free account or paid subscription.
Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.
The production features orchestrations by Michael Starobin, music direction by Deborah Abramson, co-choreography by Alex Sanchez, scenic design by Mark Wendland, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (recreated by David Lander), and sound design by Drew Levy.
The musical is the latest in a long collaboration between Daniele and LaChiusa. The pair previously collaborated on Los Otros, Bernarda Alba, Little Fish, Marie Christine, and Hello Again. Daniele has amassed 10 Tony nominations over her career, including for her work on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Once On This Island, and Ragtime. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 2020.