This stirring musical by Michael John LaChiusa, based on Federico García Lorca's 1936 play The House of Bernarda Alba, tells the story of a controlling, newly-widowed mother who is challenged by her five rebellious daughters.
The "house" is led by its matriarch, who assumes the role with tight lipped determination immediately after her husband's funeral. She locks the door against the outside world imprisoning the daughters within. They will live and die as virgins, she announces. The natural inclination should be for Alba to try and conquer death, whereas she conspires with it. Thus the play's modernist irony. The simple symbolism in Lorca's Catholic Spain, added to the bare action, at once both enfranchise woman, and present a terrifying result of liberation.