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International City Theatre Returns to the Stage With CLOSELY RELATED KEYS

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Closely Related Keys runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Aug. 27 through Sept. 12.

International City Theatre Returns to the Stage With CLOSELY RELATED KEYS

International City Theatre will return to the stage after 18 long months with a compelling family drama by multiple award-winning Los Angeles-based playwright Wendy Graf. Directed by Saundra McClain, Graf's Closely Related Keys opens Aug. 27 at ICT's home in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Two low-priced previews are set for Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.

Oscar Best (NAACP Theater Award for Blood Knot at the Malibu Playhouse, lifetime member of The Actors Studio), Sydney A. Mason (Safe Harbor with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, Fefu and Her Friends and Lysistrata Unbound at the Odyssey Theatre), Mehrnaz Mohammadi (Sand Moon at Son of Semele, Suppliant Women with Rogue Machine at The Getty Villa), Nick Molari (The Secret In Their Wings at Coeurage Theatre Company; Lear, Merlin, A Midsummer Night's Dream at Theatricum Botanicum) and Adrian Mohamad Tafesh (making his California theatrical debut) star in Graf's hard-hitting drama about family conflict and clashing cultures.

Living in New York just before the 10th anniversary of September 11, Julia Dolan (Mason) is an up-and-coming corporate attorney whose carefully constructed life begins to crumble when she learns she has a half-sister (Mohammadi) - a Muslim who has fled Iraq. Neyla plays the violin and wants to audition for Juilliard, but Julia is wary. Is there more to Neyla's story?

Closely Related Keys reminds us now, on the 20th anniversary of that pivotal event, how living in a climate of racial, religious, moral and political polarization can cause us to put up walls on a personal level.

"The sisters are both broken, each in her own way, and they come from opposite, seemingly irreconcilable worlds," says ICT artistic director caryn desai. "As they search for a way forward based on the little they have in common, maybe there's a lesson for the rest of us during these partisan times."

The play's title is taken from a musical expression meaning "to share many common tones."

The creative team for the ICT production includes set designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, lighting designer Donny Jackson, costume designer Kim DeShazo, sound designer Dave Mickey and prop designer Patty Briles. Casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA and Richie Ferris, CSA. The production stage manager is John Freeland, Jr.

Closely Related Keys premiered at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood in 2014, garnering two NAACP Theater Award nominations and one win. The Hollywood Reporter praised "important issues of identity, guilt, tolerance in both a political and psychological context... told with intelligence and sensitivity," while influencer site Gia On The Move found the play "human... touching, painful, powerful." Mixed Roots Stories wrote, "a balanced and provoking representation of cultures, races and intimate relationships colliding and evolving. Graf is not afraid to tackle race, privilege and stereotypes head-on."

Closely Related Keys runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Aug. 27 through Sept. 12. Two preview performances take place on Wednesday, Aug. 25 and Thursday, Aug. 26, both at 8 p.m. Tickets are $49 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, except Aug. 27 (opening night) for which tickets are $55 and include a post show reception; and $52 on Sundays. Low-priced tickets to previews are $37.

Seating will be socially distanced (skipping rows as well as seats) and masks required as recommended by the County of Los Angeles on the date of each performance.
Tickets: 562-436-4610 or www.InternationalCityTheatre.orgInternational City Theatre Returns to the Stage With CLOSELY RELATED KEYS


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