About This Show

Jimmy Smits starred in the original 2003 Broadway production of this lyrical drama about a Cuban family living in Tampa, Florida, in 1929. The family’s cigar factory, where cigars are still rolled by hand, straddles tradition and modernism. Tradition includes hiring a lector (an educated storyteller) to read to the workers as they do their jobs. Juan Julian, the newly arrived lector, is a sensitive, charming man with a passion for literature whose choice to read Anna Karenina has unforeseen consequences.
Meanwhile, as family patriarch and factory owner Santiago struggles to preserve his business, his bitter half-brother Cheché wants to modernize the factory. Whatever happens, Santiago’s strong and loving wife Ofelia is determined to protect her family. Their elder daughter Conchita, attracted to the lector, uses the tale of Anna to assess her life and marriage to Palomo, a macho type who takes her for granted. There’s also younger daughter Marela, an innocent caught up in the romance of Anna Karenina. As the family’s involvement with the book (and the lector) deepens, the powerful, romantic novel invades their lives and relationships, causing the lector to become the catalyst for a simmering and potent conflict.

Show Details

Dates: Opening Night: August 12, 2011 Final Performance: August 28, 2011
Location: Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, New Jersey

39 Broadway,



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