The Nuyorican Poets Café has brought together five Latinx Broadway actors to reframe a theater classic in a new edition of “Art Is Not Canceled Night of Special Performances.”
Next Wednesday at 8 pm EDT, we will enjoy a new version of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For a New World, reinterpreted in Spanish and English by Danny Bolero, according to Broadway World.
The message of “nothing’s the same” from the original song inspired the actor to contact fellow In the Heights cast members, “asking them to join him in a new Latinized, bilingual version of the song.”
Along with director and composer Jaime Lozano and Jesús Altamira, Boléro also added Andréa Burns (In the Heights, The Nance, On Your Feet); Natalie Toro (Les Miserables, Evita, In the Heights, Tale of Two Cities); Genny Lis Padilla (In the Heights, Rent, On Your Feet); and Cedric Leiba Jr. (High Maintenance, Rent, Carmen La Cubana).
The actors will come together through Zoom for this unique version of the musical classic written and composed by Brown and originally produced off-Broadway at the WPA Theater in 1995. The play has been performed as an abstract musical, a series of songs all connected by “the moment of decision.”
“It’s about one moment,” Brown has said about his masterpiece. “It’s about hitting the Wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.”
In a post-pandemic world, and at a critical time for communities of color in the United States, the reinterpretation of Brown’s work fits like a glove.
“If you would have told me that I would be producing a Zoom-style music rendition during a stay-at-home moratorium in the middle of a pandemic in New York City, I would have responded with, ‘Get out of here!’” he said.
Thanks to the technological expertise of producer and casting director Elaine Del Valle, The New World/Un Mundo Nuevo can be seen at the virtual event next Wednesday by clicking here.