Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe's Expreso Astral (Starlight Express) will receive its Mexican premiere late November at Mexico City's newest theatre, the Teatro Polanco; a former movie house that has been recently restored as a legitimate theatre.
The 1649-seat venue, which was built in 1955, will be able to handle any kind of production, including big musicals like Expreso Astral. The Teatro Polanco is conveniently located in the Polanco area, which is famous for its fancy boutiques and restaurants.
Fernando Morett and Cali Dominguez, who co-produced the Mexican version of Cats, are producing Expreso Astral in association with Producciones Expreso Astral, which is a new Mexican company that will be dedicated to produce shows at the new Teatro Polanco. Producciones Expreso Astral is formed by Cinemex, a major movie theater corporation, and Mexican impresario Marcial Davila, who produced hits like Yo y Mi Chica (Me & My Girl), Un Gran Final (A Chorus Line) and Calle 42 (42nd Street).
Bob Love is directing and choreographing this production of Starlight Express, which based in the long-running London staging, will include the five new songs added to the score in 1993.
Heading a cast of 40 roller-skating singers and dancers are Maru Duenas, Enrique del Olmo, Lilia Sixtos and Alejandra Murga, all of them members of the 1992 Mexican company of Cats. Reproducing John Napier's spectacular set for Starlight Express are Alfonso de la Concha, Carlos Trejo and Jorge Leon, while Silvia Castro will reproduce Napier's imaginative costumes and Rick Belzer (lighting designer of the Mexican Cats) will recreate David Hersey's original lighting designs.
Willy Gutierrez, musical director of hits like Yo y Mi Chica (Me & My Girl) and Dulce Caridad (Sweet Charity) will be the musical supervisor and director for this production. Marco Villafan, who translated the lyrics of Cats and Evita, has translated Richard Stilgoe's lyrics into Spanish.
According to Cali Dominguez, associate producer of Expreso Astral, the Mexican cast recording of the show will be released on the opening night, sometime in late November. Exact dates for previews and opening night will be announced shortly. Coincidentally, the Mexico revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita is scheduled to open also in November, at the Teatro Silvia Pinal.
Mexico's Expreso Astral will play Wed. and Thurs. at 8:30 PM, Fri. and Sat. at 7 PM & 9 PM, and Sun. at 1 PM & 4 PM. For tickets ($200-$90 Mexican pesos) and information call the Cinemex Line at (5) 257 6969.
--By Claudio Carrera