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‘Real Women Have Curves’ Is Turning Into a Broadway Musical, Director Hints It Will Be a Love Song to Immigrant Women in the US

Courtesy HBO Films

Fans of “Real Women Have Curves” are in luck! The seminal early-2000s coming of age film is being adapted into a Broadway musical. Which has us asking ourselves: why didn’t this happen sooner?

According to reports, the musical is being developed by Tony Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo — the first Latino recipient of that award. 

“Real Women Have Curves” tells the story of a Los Angeles Mexican-American teenager named Ana (played by a young America Ferrera) who comes into her own while dealing with body image issues, questions of identity and extreme tension with her mother.

Since its release, the movie has become a cult classic, with many Latinas citing it as one of the only examples of seeing themselves on screen while growing up. Critics have also recognized it for its powerful cultural impact, including the Library of Congress, who added it to the National Film Registry in 2019. 

The movie was adapted from a play of the same name written by Josefina López. So it makes sense that such an intimate and powerful story would wind up on the stage again. You only need to look at recent Broadway classics like “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Spring Awakening” to see that stories of teenage melodrama were practically made for the Great White Way. 

In a recent appearance on the theater podcast Little Known Facts, director Sergio Trujillo revealed that the book is being written by Mexicana playwright, Lisa Loomer. Music and lyrics are being written by Mexican pop duo Jesse & Joy. “They’re not from the theater world, and that’s what I wanted,” Trujillo said. “We wanted to create a sound that was very authentic, but yet had a fresh perspective.”

If this musical makes it to stage, it would be the first Broadway musical ever to have a Latino director, book writer, lyricist, and composer as part of its creative team, a mission that was very important to Trujillo.

“When I won my Tony Award in 2019, I made a personal contract with myself that I was going to be on the frontlines to ensure that stories about the Latino culture are being told,” he said in the same podcast appearance. Adding that he felt he was “given a megaphone.”

Trujillo says he was inspired to take on this project because of his admiration for his mother, whose story is reflected in “Real Women Have Curves.” In fact, it was Trujillo’s husband who encouraged him to develop the musical.

“[My husband] has always felt that it would be a love song to the women in my life… My mom, who came from Colombia to Canada and became a seamstress, she worked at a factory. So these are the lives of an immigrant woman in America.”

To date, there is no further information about when producers expect the show to hit Broadway, but we’re holding our breath for it to be soon.

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