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Actress Francesca Ravera Stars In NYC Premiere Of ESPRESSO

Actress Francesca Ravera Stars In NYC Premiere Of ESPRESSO

Multi-award winning Italian actress Francesca Ravera will take on the starring role of Rosa in the New York premiere of the production of Espresso, with staged readings taking place on August 5 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET at Urban Stages Theater located at 259 W 30th Street, New York, 10001. The project is directed by Kim T. Sharp who directed Ravera in the incredibly successful run of Neil LaBute's The Way We Get By, which after earning stand-out reviews in New York, embarked on a tour across Italy earlier this year.

Written by Vancouver playwright Lucia Frangione, Espresso toured widely throughout Canada during its initial run where it received rave reviews. With Ravera in the lead role, Espresso has become a highly anticipated premiere in New York City, with the full production slated for 2020.

The play follows Rosa Dolores, a first generation Canadian, and her Italian family, in a complex story that explores the relationship of Christianity and sexuality. Ravera will take on the lead role of Rosa, as well as the roles of Nonna and Cinzella, as the story of her family is told from Rosa's perspective. Sharing in the narration of the story alongside Rosa is Amante (Jesse Koehler), who serves as both the Holy Spirit and a symbol of Eros.

The story commences after Vito, the patriarch of the family, is sent to the intensive care unit after a near fatal car crash that lacerates his heart and crushes his pelvis. It is there that Rosa, Vito's estranged daughter, sees her grandmother Nonna for the first time in two years, followed by Vito's second wife, Cinzella, who arrives decked out in her fox-fur coat and an over the top primadonna attitude.

Through Espresso we see the awakening of an elderly woman, Nonna, who's in deep need of healing after having been married off at the age of 13 and never having had the opportunity to discover her sexuality. Nonna's need for healing is uniquely juxtaposed against that of young Rosa, who sees love and the institution of marriage as an oppressive extension of the Christian culture that was imposed on her by her family and her first boyfriend, Tony.

Through the experiences of Rosa, Nonna and Cinzella, this play takes audiences on a sensual and heartfelt journey of love and healing that is inspired by tragedy and met with grace and humour.

Francesca Ravera says, "I'm beyond excited and grateful to be working with Kim again, and to be a part of this amazing project where I get the chance to interpret three roles at once... The script is filled with quick dialogue between the three women, so it's a continuous back and forth between these very different and strong characters. All of this, while also interacting with Amante, who is God, but also Eros or, perhaps, a creation of Rosa's imagination."

Director Kim T. Sharp says, "Discovering the talented Francesca earlier this year was a revelation. Now working with her on a script by an award-winning female writer new to NYC audiences is truly exciting. I look forward to sharing the work of both these women with our audiences."

The staged readings of "Espresso" will take place at Urban Stages Theater (259 West 30th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) on Monday August 5 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET. For more information go to website.

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