Monday, September 27, 2021

Michelle Brava and ngel “Cucco” Pea hold Puerto Rican keys to local staging of “In the Heights”

The soundtrack to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning play “In the Heights” is similar here or on Broadway, but there’s no doubt that local staging will have a different flavor, when maestro ngel “Cucco” Pea marks the harpsichord and The orchestra of 13 Puerto Rican musicians begins to play.

There is a unique energy that is felt from the first notes, and the connection between the music and the actors is such that it is interesting to see how they slowly begin to move and shake their bodies with their seats, until they eventually Don’t fall for their feet. to blow up the sound.

It is a performance of 25 songs that have been meticulously worked on by the veteran music director along with members of the orchestra and vocalist Michel Brava, who, in addition to being part of the cast, appears as the vocal instructor for this premiere. Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot in Puerto Rico next Thursday, September 16.

“While we want to honor the piece that is great, how it is written, how it is arranged, one cannot help but exude the spirit of Puerto Rican musicians who, to me, are the world’s I am the best,” he said. Cucco Pena to rehearse shortly before the meeting this Wednesday.

For Brava, this experience of directing talent at the vocal level “has been magical”, especially because of the commitment seen by the entire team assembled by producer Ander Vega (BAS Entertainment). “The product may be amazing, but we need that commitment from the team and that everyone loves the project so that it comes out and we respect the wonderful piece that Lin-Manuel wrote,” he highlights .

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The repertoire begins with actor Ector Rivera in the lead role of “Usnawi”, explaining the theme that gives the musical its name, and thus weaves this story of Latino immigrants in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights. Is.

“I think everyone is going to make their mark with history in some way or the other and that’s the beauty of this amazing piece of work that Lin-Manuel created, and it touches your heart, and that’s the beauty of art.” That’s what music is for. Connection,” said the melodious voice accompanying Gilberto Santa Rosa on stage.

Cucco Pea is a natural romantic and from that fact he cited the composition “Alabanza” as one of his favorites in the repertoire. Likewise, it is graced by festive numbers such as “Carnaval de Barrio”. “There’s everything and everything interesting and cool, and depends on the work, which is the history of all our families. Every family in the United States has a relative. My sister lived there in the 70s, she never Didn’t come back, ie my nephew is that kind of second generation Puerto Rican,” he shared.

(Vanessa Serra Diaz)

Orchestra Jose Ruiz (trumpet), Jan Ducler (trumpet), Jesus R. Composed of Torres (trombone), Lester Perez (trombone), ngel Torres (saxophone and flute), Leonardo Gare (saxophone and flute), Marcos Sánchez. (keyboards), Emilio Mendez (keyboards), Robert López (bass), Emanuele Navarro (percussion), Raul Rodriguez (percussion), Jorge David Marcano (drums), Juan Carlos Rodriguez (guitar) and Lito Pea (stagehand).

Pea and Brava both appreciated the opportunity of this type of production, recognized worldwide, to reach local stages and take the stage with Puerto Rican talent. “When they go to the Coliseum they’re going to see a show of altitude, they think they’re watching a show on Broadway in New York, because here in Puerto Rico you can do that kind of thing,” he said.

“In the Heights” will also include performances by Anna Isabel, Tony Chirolds, who was part of the original Broadway cast (2008), Dennis Quinones, Sarah Jark, Didi Romero, Amanda Rivera, Javier Reyes, Michelle Brava, Juan Pablo Diaz . Emilio Villalobos, Jessand Calderone and Edita Encarnacione.

Marcos Santana, who is also a member of the original assembly, is in charge of general directing and choreography.

The performances will take place on 16, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 September.

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Michelle Brava and ngel "Cucco" Pea hold Puerto Rican keys to local staging of "In the Heights"
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