Anna in the Tropics Returns Home Triumphantly

Anna in the Tropics, the Pulitzer prize winning drama by Miami-native Nilo Cruz, is celebrating its 20th birthday in the city in which it was born. Miami Beach’s Miami New Drama is reviving the play now until February 5th.

Anna in the Tropics is set in a cigar factory in 1929 in Tampa, Florida. It centers around the lives of the factory workers and their families. Once upon a time, before television and even radio, to entertain the workers, at least in cigar factories, a man was hired to read to the workers. This person was called a lector.

The tradition began in Cuba in the late 1800s and was brought over to the United States, particularly to the Tampa area, where many Cuban immigrants were working in cigar factories.

In the play, the lector reads Anna Karenina, widely regarded as one of the greatest works of literature of all time. It is famous for its complex characters and exploration of the human psyche.

Anna in the Tropics Comes Home

Miami New Drama’s version of Anna in the Tropics is poignant. It hits like poetry and resonates with a literary air not often felt in the theater. There’s a reason the play won a Pulitzer. And there’s no better city to see it in than Miami.

Over the years, the play has received many positive reviews.

The New York Times described the play as “a lush, poetic work.” The Los Angeles Times said it was “a richly atmospheric and ultimately moving work” and praised Cruz’s “lyrical and evocative writing.”

Anna in the Tropics wonderfully explores themes of love, tradition, and the impact of change on individuals and their community. If you’ve never seen this gem, now is your chance. Don’t miss it.

For more info and tickets, visit the Miami New Drama.


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J.J. Colagrande

Has written about Miami culture for almost twenty years, first with The Miami Herald, then Miami New Times and Huffington Post. He's the publisher of The Jitney and a full-time professor.