Anna in the Tropics offers a thoroughly unique theatrical experience

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Anna in the Tropics, Wednesdays-Sundays through Feb. 24, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20, csfineartscenter.org. - COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • Anna in the Tropics, Wednesdays-Sundays through Feb. 24, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20, csfineartscenter.org.
Back in the day, workers didn’t have the luxury of podcasts or custom Spotify playlists to make their days go by faster. Cuba, and the Cuban diaspora in Florida, solved the problem of workforce boredom by introducing lectors into their cigar factories in the early 1900s. A lector would read to, entertain and educate the factory workers as they rolled cigars — an otherwise mind-numbing task. Needless to say, the arrival of a new lector at a factory would often be cause for celebration. For the family in Anna in the Tropics, that is precisely how they treat the arrival of Juan Julian, their factory’s new lector. But Julian chooses quite a story to introduce to the factory workers: the characteristically depressive masterwork of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. As he reads, the audience learns that the drama in this factory extends far beyond the book’s pages. Affairs, nefarious plots, massive debts and more will be revealed in this poignant, poetic and thoroughly unique theatrical experience.

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