CONFESSIONS OF A COCAINE COWBOY Adapted for the Stage in Miami
Miami New Drama is proud to announce the much-anticipated premiere of Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy, a new play based on the cult classic documentary Cocaine Cowboys, directed by Billy Corben and produced by Alfred Spellman and Corben through their Miami-based studio, rakontur.
Previews for Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy begin March 7th with an Opening Night Gala on March 16th at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.
The latest work in Miami New Drama's trailblazing season of original theater telling the stories of Miami, Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy chronicles Miami's brutal drug wars of the 1970's and 80's through the life of Jorge "Rivi" Ayala, the favorite assassin of notorious drug queenpin Griselda Blanco.
This wild, pivotal chapter of Miami history is brought to life by Billy Corben, award-winning, Miami-raised playwright Aurin Squire (NBC's This is us, CBS's The Good Fight), and Miami New Drama artistic director Michel Hausmann. Their audacious union of theater and true crime storytelling is based on a thousand hour jailhouse deposition with Ayala, a much-feared hitman convicted of murdering three people and suspected of killing 35 more.
A lethal charmer, Ayala was a central figure in the rakontur documentary, which chronicled how Colombian drug lords turned Miami into an extravagant, surreally violent epicenter of cocaine, cash and crime - and propelled the city's transformation from laidback tourist town to vibrant metropolis. Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy recreates an outrageous, amoral, darkly comedic epoch in Miami that riveted and horrified the world.
Cocaine Cowboy marks Corben's first time working in theater, and the first Miami project for Squires, who grew up in the historic African-American neighborhood of Opa-Locka, and worked as a journalist at the Miami Herald before becoming an award-winning playwright and screenwriter.
The cast features the accomplished Yancey Arias (Kingpin, Lethal Weapon) starring as Ayala, joined by Zilah Mendoza (Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy); Cuban-born, Miami-raised Andhy Mendez (The Blacklist, Orange is the New Black); Miami-based multidisciplinary artist Rudi Goblen (Miami New Drama's Queen of Basel); Carbonell award-winners Nicholas Richberg (The Glades, Fun Home), and Stephen Anthony (Miami New Drama's Our Town); and introducing Bryan Blanco.
The play follows two other Miami New Drama premieres of uniquely Miami stories illuminating the city's identity and history: FAKE, a tale of Cuban legacy and art world politics starring and written by Cuban-American artist Carmen Pelaez and centered on her great-aunt, famed Cuban painter Amelia Pelaez; and One Night in Miami..., about the meeting of African-American icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke at the storied black Miami Hampton House motel.
This production is funded in part by a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Previews of Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy run March 7 to 15; the play opens March 16 and runs through March 24, at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. Tickets are $39 to $79 ($150 for opening night), at www.colony.org or 305-674-1040.