Daphne Rubin-Vega to Star in MISS YOU LIKE HELL at The Public Theater

By: Nov. 09, 2017
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

The Public Theater announced today that the New York premiere of MISS YOU LIKE HELL has been added to The Public's Astor Anniversary Season, celebrating 50 years of new work at 425 Lafayette Street and the 50th Anniversary of HAIR.

With book and lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes and music and lyrics by Erin McKeown, the new musical is directed by Public Theater Resident Director and Founder of Public Works Lear deBessonet, with choreography by Danny Mefford, and featuring two-time Tony Award nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega as "Beatriz."

The musical will begin previews in The Public's Newman Theater on Tuesday, March 20 and run through Sunday, May 6, with an official press opening on Tuesday, April 10.

"No other piece I know speaks with such powerful, personal insight into our current immigration debate," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "Quiara Alegría Hudes, Erin McKeown, and director Lear deBessonet have created a mother/daughter story for the ages. We are proud to celebrate the voices of these extraordinary women."

In addition to Rubin-Vega, initial casting for MISS YOU LIKE HELL includes Danny Bolero (Manuel), Andrew Cristi (Ensemble), Latoya Edwards (Pearl), Shawna M. Hamic (Ensemble), Gizel Jiménez (Olivia), David Patrick Kelly (Higgins), and Michael Mulheren (Mo).

Public Theater Member tickets will be available on Thursday, November 30. Single tickets, starting at $90, will be available on Thursday, December 14 and can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes and acclaimed, genre-breaking singer/songwriter Erin McKeown bring their highly anticipated new musical to The Public this season. Two-time Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega is Beatriz, a flawed mom to 16 year-old Olivia, and an undocumented immigrant on the verge of deportation. After living estranged from each other for years, a mother and daughter embark on a road trip that crosses state lines. Together they meet Americans of different backgrounds, shared dreams, and complicated truths in this powerful new show with vast heart and fierce humor. OBIE-winning director Lear deBessonet and choreographer Danny Mefford stage this transcendent new musical with music that will find your soul, and stay with you forever.

MISS YOU LIKE HELL features scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez; costume design by Emilio Sosa; lighting design by Tyler Micoleau; and sound design by Jessica Paz.


QUIARA ALEGRíA HUDES (Book & Lyrics) is the first Latina to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A playwright, strong wife and mother of two, barrio feminist and native of West Philly, U.S.A., her stage works include In the Heights (Tony Award for Best Musical), Water By the Spoonful (Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Daphne's Dive, and The Happiest Song Plays Last.

Erin McKeown (Music & Lyrics) is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique - clear, cool, and collected. A familiar presence on NPR and the BBC, McKeown's songs have also appeared on numerous television shows and commercials. While a student A. Brown University, McKeown spent three years as an artist-in-residence at Providence, RI's revolutionary community arts organization, AS220. She has since spent a decade and a half playing nearly 200 shows a year while releasing 10 studio albums and refining a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles. An active voice on social justice issues and culture, McKeown was a 2011-12 fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and she is the recipient of a 2016 writing residency at The Studios At Key West. Her latest album is 2017's Mirrors Break Back. Miss You Like Hell is her first theatrical composition.

Lear deBessonet (Director) is currently Resident Director at The Public Theater and Founder of Public Works. Her credits for The Public Theater include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, The Winter's Tale, The Odyssey, Good Person of Szechwan, and Romeo and Juliet. Additional recent credits include Big River for Encores! and Venus for Signature Theatre. Other directing credits: La Jolla Playhouse; Encores! Off-Center; The Foundry Theatre; LCT3; The Old Globe; Ten Thousand Things Theater; Clubbed Thumb. Awards: Obie Award, Lortel Award, Lilly Award, Doris Duke Impact Award and TCG's Peter Zeisler Award.

Danny Mefford (Choreographer)'s choreography credits include the Tony Award-winning Best Musicals Dear Evan Hansen and Fun Home, the currently-running national tour of The Sound of Music for director Jack O'Brien, Much Ado About Nothing and Love's Labour's Lost (Drama Desk nomination) at the Delacorte Theater, The Bridges of Madison County on Broadway, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Tthe Public Theater and on Broadway (Astaire and Lortel nominations). He is currently working on the new series "RISE" for NBC.

Danny Bolero (Manuel) has appeared as Joseph at the Minskoff Theater, In the Heights as "Kevin" at the Richard Rodgers and the first national tour. Off-Broadway credits include Bedbugs at Arclight, Roughly Speaking at TADA. Regional credits include Informed Consent at Gulfshore, Golem of Havana at Barrington, City of Angels at Goodspeed, Drowsy Chaperone at Music Theater Wichita, La Posada Majica at SCR. Film and television credits include Low Tide (2018), Rapid Eye Movement (2018), TopFive, Revenge for Jolly, "Power," "Blue Bloods," "Board to Death," and "Law & Order: SVU." He's currently developing his solo piece Shadowboxing and co-producing the documentary Hidden Ancestry.

Andrew Cristi (Ensemble)'s Broadway credits include Pasek & Paul's A Christmas Story. Off-Broadway credits include Julianne Moore's Freckleface Strawberry (New World Stages), Big River and The Golden Apple (Encores! NY City Center). He has appeared on television in "Manhattan Love Story" (ABC), Disney/ABC Talent Showcase. Regionally he has appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkshire Theater Group, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and more. He holds a BFA from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts.

Latoya Edwards (Pearl) was recently seen as "Lily" in Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical at Atlantic Theatre Co. Her other credits include Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at Adirondack Theatre Festival and Carefully Taught at Astoria PAC. Her film and television credits include the short film Want a Cookie?, "The Get Down," "Law & Order: SVU."

Shawna M. Hamic (Ensemble) made her Broadway debut as "Mrs. Dees" in Sting's The Last Ship. She's performed in national tours as Trish in Kinky Boots and "Madame Thenardier" in Les Miserables. Other roles include "Shawntel" in Jerry Springer: The Opera, and "Miss Cotton" in Twist, "Sister Mary Hubert" in Nunsense. As a professional photographer, Hamic has been published in Time, Rolling Stone, Elle, Dance and Arrive magazines.

GIZEL JIMÉNEZ (Olivia) was recently seen as "Clara" in Party People at The Public and "Princess Anna" in Disney's Frozen at the Hyperion Theater. National tour credits include West Side Story "Rosalia." Off-Broadway credits include Big River as "Susan Wilkes," and Unseamly as "Malina." Her television and film credits include co-star role on HBO's Divorce as "Waitress," guest star role on "Law & Order SVU"'s Presumed Guilty as "Angelica Rodriguez." Regional theater credits include Evita at Asolo Rep as "Mistress," Oklahoma at Goodspeed Opera House as "Ado Annie," Up Here at La Jolla Playhouse as "Cool Girl," The Theory of Relativity at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theater as "Caroline," Smokey Joes Café as "Shimmy Girl" and In the Heights at The Walnut Street Theater and Westchester Broadway Theater as "Vanessa."

David Patrick Kelly (Higgins)'s Broadway's credits include Once (Da, original cast, Tony Award Best Musical); Twelfth Night (Feste); Therese Raquin (Michaud); Government Inspector (Osip); Uncle Vanya (Waffles); Working (Charlie Blossom). His Off-Broadway credits include Cure (David, Obie Award Best Play); Pearls For Pigs (Maestro, Obie Award Best Play); The Mind King (the Mind King Angel); Regional credits include Woyzeck (Woyzeck), Tartuffe (Tartuffe), Othello (Iago), Enrico IV (Enrico). His film and television credits include John Wick, Flags Of Our Fathers, Chi-Raq, The Warriors, Wild At Heart (Palm D'Or , Cannes Film Festival ), and "Twin Peaks." His awards include Obie Award For Sustained Excellence, Connecticut Critics Award for Tartuffe.

Michael Mulheren (Mo) is a Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee for Kiss Me, Kate. Broadway credits include Bright Star, Spider-Man, Looped, The Farnsworth Invention, Deuce, La Cage aux Folles, The Boy From Oz, Titanic and On the Waterfront. Off-Broadway credits include Floyd Collins, The Fantasticks and The Cocoanuts. Television appearances include all NYC soaps, recurring roles on "Salem," "Person of Interest," "Rescue Me," "Royal Pains" and "Law & Order," and guest spots on "Gotham," "The Good Wife," "Blue Bloods" and 20 other series. A baker's dozen films by such directors as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Richard Donner.

Daphne Rubin-Vega (Beatriz) is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk nominee (1996/2004) and recipient of the Theater World, Obie (1996) and Blockbuster (1998) Awards. She has been a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company since 1992 and in 2005, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Kean University. "Dr." Rubin-Vega is perhaps best known for the roles she originated, including Mimi (RENT) and Conchita (Anna in the Tropics), both Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway shows for which she was nominated for the Tony Award. Selected originated roles include Dolores in Empanada Loca, a play written specifically for Rubin-Vega, (Drama Desk nom), Rahmi in Gum, Sofia in Nilo Cruz' Two Sisters and a Piano, Canary Mary (Suzan-Lori Parks' f-ing A) (Lucille Lortel nominations) and Lucy (Jack Goes Boating) at The Public. Her Broadway revivals of A Streetcar Named Desire (Stella), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Magenta) and Les Miserables (Fantine). Her film credits include detective Gloria Perez in Wild Things, starring Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon (Blockbuster Award for Best Supporting Actress), Flawless, opposite Robert De Niro, and most recently, reprising the role of Lucy in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, Phillip Seymour Hoffman's film directorial debut. Her selected film and television credits include Sex and the City, "I Like It Like That", and "Smash". Rubin-Vega is recognized for her singing as much as her acting. She was a member of the girl group Pajama Party whose single "Yo No Se" was number one on the Billboard dance charts. After two albums on Atlantic Records, she began writing and recording solo singles for the indie dance label Maxi. In 1997, Rubin-Vega cut her first album of original music, "Souvenirs" on the subsequently defunct Mercury label and in 2006; she produced, performed, and primarily wrote "Redemption Songs" (Sh-K- Boom). Rubin-Vega has contributed to various musical projects, including her notorious version of "Feliz Navidad" for Broadway Cares and her club smash cover of "Rocketman." In her spare time, she works on her perennial saga, "The Frequently Unanswered Questions."

The Public Theater is theater of, by, and for the people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation's first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public's wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City's five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Studio, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe's Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 169 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Desk Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos