Four Guys Named Jose..and una Mujer named Maria arrived in Coral Gables, Florida back on Oct. 3, but the five fiery Latinos aren't ready to call it quits on Dec. 30 as they had originally announced. Instead, the musical revue will play on at the Actor's Playhouse Balcony Theatre through Feb. 24, after taking a break from Dec. 30 to Jan. 10. Four Guys Named Jose, which first debuted in New York City April 21, 2000, opened on the Playhouse mainstage Oct. 5.
Grammy Award-winning Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias helped mount the second New York staging, alongside his friend Dasha Epstein (Ain't Misbehavin', Children of a Lesser God). In a statement, the sexy singer of the megahit "Bailamos" noted his immediate interest in 4 Guys as soon as Epstein brought it to him. "4 Guys sends a positive message about our great cultural heritage. Everyone should come see it," he was quoted as saying.
The four Joses of the title are Senors Cubano, Dominicano, Mexicano and Boricua, funny, charming guys who have spent all their money to put on a show that will not only portray their cultures in a positive light, but also launch them into superstardom. They don't, however, count on falling for their lovely leading lady, Maria. A live Latin band plays the classic baladas, boleros, cha-chas, mambos, merengue and salsa songs that serve for the musical's score. Among the popular favorites are "Besame Mucho," "Oye Como Va," "Perfidia," "Gauntanamera" and "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas."
Starring in Jose are Jorge Maldonado (Jose Dominicano), Allen Hidalgo (Jose Boriqua), Henry Gainza (Jose Mexicano) and Ricardo Puente (Jose Cubano) with former Gloria Estefan backup singer Janet Dacal as Maria, replacing former Miss Florida and Miss America finalist Lisette Gonzalez.
Richard Rogers Award winner Susana Tubert directs at Actor's Playhouse as she did in New York. Joining her is choreographer Maria Torres (Swing!), who staged the dances Off-Broadway. David Coffman, who co-conceived and produced Four Guys with Dolores Prida, is also working on a new project, SEX! The Musical, a theme-based revue a la Pets and A...My Name is Alice.
Tickets for Four Guys Named Jose... are $32-$35. For tickets, call (305) 444-9293. The Actor's Playhouse is on the web at http://www.actorsplayhouse.org.
-- By Christine Ehren