The musical El Diario de Ana Frank, developed by Rafael Alvero, came after years of rights negotiations with the Anne Frank Foundation, which closely guards the moving story and the words of Frank. Alvero states that the new musical will be an inspirational tale, which he intends to present in the vein of tragic opera. Alvero and the 22-member company visited the Amsterdam attic where the Frank family was forced to hide during World War II.
Portraying the 15-year-old Frank will be Isabella Castillo. Castillo shares similarities with Frank, having fled with her mother from Cuba at a young age to hide in Belize prior to immigrating to Miami. "If you're doing a musical of the family and how they lived and the house and everything, I think it's very special, and a very important detail to come to this house," Castillo stated during her tour of the tiny Frank apartment.
Jan Erik Dubbelman of the Anne Frank Foundation commented, "This production respects the message of tolerance, within the tragedy, that we want to keep alive. Being in Spanish, it can also help to take the message of Anne Frank to Latin America."
Anne Frank documented her life within her diary as she and her family hid for over two years in a small flat hidden behind a bookcase in an Amsterdam warehouse. Always optimistic despite the circumstances she faced – Frank's words live on – with translations in some 60 languages and over 25 million copies of her diary sold throughout the world.
"The Diary of a Young Girl" has previously been the source of the 1985 Michael Cohen and Enid Futterman musical Yours, Anne. That musical was based both on Frank's diary and the play The Diary of Anne Frank, penned by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The original 1956 Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank earned both the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Entitled El Diario de Ana Frank, the musical will run Feb. 22-Mar. 30 at the Teatro Haagen-Dazs Calderón in Madrid. An official opening has been set for Feb. 28. For more information visit www.teatrohaagen-dazs.es.