SUBURGATORY's Laura Liguori Stars In New Play
Actress Laura Liguori takes on the role of a Russian poet's enigmatic muse in a true life story of 1930s Russia in the play MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN will premiere at 8 p.m. on July 21 at the Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038. It will run through Aug. 19.
With a multi-media approach, MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN will feature more than 300 images and videos projected on screens across the stage, recalling the tumultuous Stalin era of Soviet Russia. Adding to the live performances and imagery is the compelling score of composer John Zalewski.
Written and directed by critically acclaimed American playwright Murray Mednick, MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN tells the parallel stories of Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his married lover and muse, Lilya Brik (played by Liguori) and of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (played by Maury Sterling of "Homeland") and his wife Nadya. Lilya, an actress, convinced Stalin to restore Mayakovsky (played by Daniel Dorr) to the canon of accepted Soviet poets, only to see the political repercussions of Nadya's suicide at a state dinner where she renounced Stalin's policies.
"I am currently reading the actual love letters written between Mayakovsky and Lilya- they were truly soul mates, incarnates of each other, artists, people who lived freely and deeply despite the horror around them," said Liguori who starred in Mednick's "The Gary Plays" last year. "This is a beautiful play, and the cast is just outstanding! It's an honor to play Lilya- she was a true feminist, she lived according to her terms, no-one dictated to her, a beautiful spitfire of a soul."
For his part, Mednick welcomed working with Liguori once again after the success of "The Gary Plays" last year: "Laura Liguori has the perfect combination of intelligence, insouciance, and fearlessness for the role of Lilyana. It's like she channels something. Liguori is open to the spirit of the person she is playing. It's hard to describe. That's her talent and this type of talent is very good for my plays."
Liguori comes to MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN after her work in Tania Wisbar's 2017 critically-acclaimed World War II play "The Red Dress," where she portrayed a famous German actress at odds with the Nazi regime. She had previously earned praise for her work as Marilyn Monroe in "Marilyn, Madness and Me."
"I am very drawn to strong, brave, complex characters who must battle to overcome severe life challenges she said. "It's all the more compelling to portray an actual person who lived and possibly died for what they believed in."
Born in Scottsdale, Ariz., Liguori grew up with a passion for the theater and acting. She was classically trained at the Oxford School of Drama in Oxford England, and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles before gaining acclaim for her stage and television work. Among TV credits are the sitcom "The Boogie Dilemma (Amazon)," "Suburgatory," "Ugly Betty," "Weeds," "Growing Up Fisher." Most recent films include "Love Lust, and A Room Key," "Hollywood Girl: The Peg Entwistle Story" in which she starred as Peg Entwistle.
MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN features Maury Sterling ("Homeland"), Daniel Dorr (Antaeus Theatre Company's production of "As You Like It"), Andy Hirsch ("Big Love"), Casey McKinnon ("The Tragedy of JFK" at the Blank), Rhonda Aldrich ("Sequestered"), Alexis Sterling ("All My Sons" at the Ruskin), Ann Colby Stocking ("The Golden Dragon" at Boston Court) and Max Faugno ("The Brothers Karamazov" at Circle X).
For more information and tickets, visit www.plays411.com/stalin.