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Another Celia Cruz Musical Is Coming To New York And Her Ex-Manager Said This Show Will Be Authentic To Her Story

When the legendary Celia Cruz died at the age of 77 on July 16, 2003, it felt as if we hadn’t honored her enough. The Cuban singer had been celebrated in several ways, including receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987, earning countless awards, and not to mention three doctorates from Yale University, Florida International University, and Miami University. For younger generations, Cruz was like folklore, a mythic woman with a powerful voice that made the world dance. Now, a new celebration of her life awaits for news fans to learn all about the pioneer of Latin music, and for fans that have loved her all of their lives. 

A musical based on the life of Celia Cruz is coming to the Bronx.

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Presented by Goya Foods, “Celia Cruz – The Musical” will hit the stage at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx. It will be a coming home of sorts because Cruz is buried not that far away at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. The show, however, will only be on stage for one night only: Nov. 16. Click here to get tickets. 

Actress and singer Cuban artist Lucrecia will star in the role, which she premiered in Spain two years ago. 

Credit: lucreciaagua_ / Instagram

Since its debut in Spain, Celia Cruz – The Musical has played in several Latin cities around the world. Now she’s coming to the Bronx! Celia conquered the world with her voice and her huge heart,” Lucrecia said in an interview with Billboard back in August. “She was noble, a woman of the old school. She remembered everyone’s name. You’d meet her once, and she’d be sending you postcards for the rest of her life.”

The show is the brainchild of Omer Pardillo-Cid, Cruz’s manager and executor of her estate.

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The 2-hour show will be done all in Spanish and will feature 30 cast members and 18 costume and wig changes. Impressive! In 2017, Pardillo-Cid spoke at length with El Nuevo Herald about his disappointment with previous portrayals of Cruz’s life, including the series about her that aired on Telemundo and another play — an Off-Broadway show, which also played in New York City in 2007. 

“The series has been very successful, but since it is full of inaccuracies, I decided to produce a show that focused on the story of Celia, a black and poor woman who left Cuba and conquered the world with her voice and her charisma,” Pardillo-Cid said in 2017. One of those inaccuracies portrayed in the play, Pardillo claims, showed “a relationship between Celia and a bearded Fidel Castro army that never existed.”

I saw that 2007 at the New World Stages. Singer Xiomara Laugart Sánchez portrayed Celia Cruz, and I thought she did the role phenomenally. The play was very emotional and powerful, so I, for one, am interested as to how this new show will depict the incomparable Celia Cruz. 

According to the program, the show will feature her biggest musical hits. 

The theater’s website shares a synopsis: “Her life, her music, her legend. A new and original theatrical experience that puts Celia’s music front and center while tracing her life and times. The two-hour multimedia show features Celia’s signature style and biggest musical hits like Quimbara, La Negra Tiene Tumbao, Tu Voz, Bemba Colorá, and La Vida es un Carnaval. This unique experience will showcase the beautiful spirit of Celia Cruz on stage once again!”

Naturally, Celia Cruz fans are rejoicing over the news that another play on the life of Cuban legend is coming to the East Coast. 

Credit: @LizTaylorCastro / Twitter

No better time to visit the Big Apple, am I right? But you better get those tickets first before they sell out. Tickets range between $45-$100 and there are only a few more seats left!

You know everyone in the theater is going to be on their feet all night. 

Credit: @sunflxwerarms / Twitter

I can imagine how electric it’s going to feel in the Bronx that night. 

A dark-skinned Cuban singer is playing a dark-skinned Cuban singer. 

Credit: @Kayke_CaraPeca / Twitter

You can’t get more authentic than that. 

It’s pretty admirable that her former manager is keeping her story alive. 

Credit: @eriveranys / Twitter

She must have really trusted him. 

Hey, Mr. Pardillo-Cid can you make this a nationwide tour, please?

People outside of New York love her too. 

READ: How ‘Guantanamera’ Sung By Celia Cruz Helped Me To Better Understand My Abuelo’s Exile From Cuba

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