Virginia Cavaliere, Natalie Toro, Ryan Duncan Travel Off-Broadway's Yellow Brick Road, Opening July 27

News   Virginia Cavaliere, Natalie Toro, Ryan Duncan Travel Off-Broadway's Yellow Brick Road, Opening July 27
 
Theatreworks USA, the nation's leading not-for-profit professional theatre for family audiences, presents the new Latin-themed children's musical The Yellow Brick Road, which officially opens July 27 at Off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre. Chita Rivera serves as honorary chair of the company's 23rd Annual Free Summer Theatre Program.

Virginia Cavaliere and Natalie Toro.
Virginia Cavaliere and Natalie Toro. Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Directed by Devanand Janki and choreographed by Janki and Robert Tatad, the production began previews July 19 at the Lortel in Greenwich Village. Performances will continue through Aug. 19.

The cast includes Virginia Cavaliere as Dora, Lexi Rhoades as Carnival Gloria / The Wizard, Natalie Toro as La Bruja, Ryan Duncan as Scarecrow, Frank Viveros as Tino and Cedric Leiba Jr. as Mountain Lion. Joshua Cruz and Veronica Reyes are the understudies.

The Yellow Brick Road features a book by Mando Alvarado and Tommy Newman, and music and lyrics by Jaime Lozano and Newman.

"In Chicago, the windy city," press notes state, "Dora Inez Garza is preparing for her fifteenth birthday celebration — a traditional quinceanera.  Her mother and uncles have worked so hard to make it an exciting fiesta for her, but Dora, feeling caught between the expectations of her heritage and her desire to be like any other contemporary American teenager, doesn't understand why the tradition is so important to her family.  

"With a little help from a mysterious woman and her enchanted gift, Dora is swept up into a gran tornado that drops her (and her little chiuahua, too) in a magical world where she must slip on the ruby zapatillas and take a journey of self-discovery, dancing down the yellow brick road.   "She seeks the only person who can help her return to the world she knows — the superstar with all the answers: the Wizard of Oz — la Maravillosa Maga de Oz.  Along the way she befriends a tongue-tied scarecrow, a heartless iron chef and a cowardly mountain lion, but a crazy, mean bruja intent on total world domination will stop at nothing to steal Dora's stylish, yet super powerful shoes."

The production also features scenic design by Roger Hanna, costume design by Sydney Maresca, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Carl Casella, puppet design by Lake Simons, orchestrations and arrangements by Salomon Lerner and Jaime Lozano, and music direction and additional arrangements by Zachary Dietz.

Launched in 1989, the mission of Theatreworks USA's Free Summer Theatre Program is to provide New York City youth with their own free theatre tradition "that not only entertains, but also educates and fosters positive values and an appreciation for theatre."

The new musical, which has a running time of 60 minutes, is recommended for children ages seven and older.

Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis in-person at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Box Office (121 Christopher St.) on the day of the performance. Tickets for each day's performances will be distributed beginning one hour prior to the first performance of the day. There is a limit of four tickets per adult per day.  

For more information visit www.twusa.org.    

Ryan Duncan, Virginia Cavaliere, Cedric Leiba Jr. and Frank Viveros
Ryan Duncan, Virginia Cavaliere, Cedric Leiba Jr. and Frank Viveros Photo by Jeremy Daniel
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