Broadway-Bound Musical The Mambo Kings Hits San Francisco Stage May 24

News   Broadway-Bound Musical The Mambo Kings Hits San Francisco Stage May 24 The Broadway-bound musical The Mambo Kings makes its world premiere at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre, starting May 24.
David Alan Grier stars in The Mambo Kings
David Alan Grier stars in The Mambo Kings Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The stage version of Oscar Hijuelos' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will open May 31 at the California stage for a run through June 19 before heading to the Broadway Theatre July 20 and opening Aug. 18.

"NYPD Blue" star Esai Morales and Mexican-born actor-singer Jamie Camil star as the title brothers with "Six Feet Under" actress Justina Machado as Dolores' sister Ana Maria, David Alan Grier (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) as nightclub impresario Fernando Perez, Grammy Award-winning Cuban music star Albita as singer Evalina Montoya, Dennis Staroselsky (The Rivals - Huntington) as Bernadito, Cote de Pablo ("The Jury") as Nestor's wife Dolores and Jekyll & Hyde's Christiane Noll as Miss Mambo, Vanna Vane.

Other featured players include Natalia Zisa (as Maria Flores), Allen Hidalgo (Luis, Emcee and Desi), Robert Montano (Pablo), Monica Salazar (Blanca) Cathy Trien (Aunt Celia), Natalie Cortez (Chi Chi), Ivan Hernandez (Roberto, Izzy and Mike Wells), Kay Walbye (Mrs. Shannon), Jeffrey Schecter (Manny), Warren Adams (Johnny Cassanova), Raymond Rodriguez (Rico), Liz Ramos (Beauty) and Luis Salgado (Frankie Suarez).

The ensemble also includes Joey Dowling, James Harkness, Ruthie Inchaustegui, Michelle Marmolejo, Carlos Sierra Lopez, Marcos Santana with swings Roxane Carrasco, Tony Falcon, Iresol Cardona and Michael Fielder.

Based on the Hijuelos' "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," the musical follows the same story of two Cuban brothers who travel to New York City in 1949 with dreams of becoming recording stars. The Latin siblings — flashy, guitarist Cesar and his shy, trumpet-playing brother Nestor — rise to fame from the dance halls to perform as Desi Arnaz's cousins on "I Love Lucy." The novel was adapted for the big screen into "The Mambo Kings," which starred Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas under the direction of Arne Glimcher. Glimcher now provides book (with Hijuelos) and lyrics for the musical version which features music by Carlos Franzetti — who also scored the film. Sergio Trujillo will serve as choreographer with Glimcher as director.

The design team for The Mambo Kings features Riccardo Hernandez (sets), Ann Roth (costumes), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting) and Acme Sound Partners (sound). Musical direction will be handled by Constantine Kitsopoulos.

The songlist includes "Overture," "Theatre of Dreams," "Here to Stay," "Mambo, Rhumba, Cha Cha Cha," "Ran Kan Kan," "El Cumbanchero," "Te Amo," "A New Bolero," "Dreams Come True," "Mambo Caliente," "Can’t Live Without My Love," "Guantanamera," "Can’t Live Without My Love (reprise)," "Entr’acte/ The Quartet," "Beautiful Maria of My Soul," "Fame," "Fame (reprise)," "Out on My Own," "Mambo, Rhumba, Cha Cha Cha (reprise)," "Sign! Sign! Sign!," "I Bring You Books," "Alone in the Dark," "Mambo # 5," "Accidental Mambo," "Lit by Love," "Dreams Come True (reprise)," "Beautiful Maria of My Soul (reprise)" and "Mambo, Mi Gente."

Daryl Roth and Jordan Roth will produce The Mambo Kings which capitalized at $12 million. "I think it's really a story that is just screaming to be a musical — it has sex and passion and mambo and rhythm and dance," Jordan Roth previously told Playbill.com (Sep. 2004).

The staging will mark the first Broadway collaboration between the mother and son producing team of Daryl and Jordan Roth. Daryl Roth is currently represented on Broadway by Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Other credits include Caroline, or Change, Anna in the Tropics and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Jordan Roth has produced The Rocky Horror Show on Broadway as well as The Donkey Show Off-Broadway.

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