Celia, as previously announced, will begin previews Aug. 28 at New World Stages with an official opening scheduled for Sept. 12. The company will also feature Gustavo Wons, Monica Hatter-Mayes, Nina LaFarga, Rogelio Douglas, Skie Ocasio, Sunilda Caraballo and Wilson Mendieta.
Henry Cardenas, executive producer of the musical, said in a statement, "We are fortunate to have Xiomara Laugart play the role of Celia Cruz. She is an incredibly gifted artist with a wonderful voice who encompasses many of the qualities that made Celia Cruz so special. I don’t think we could have found a better Celia."
Celia is written by Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado, directed by Jaime Azpilicueta and co-produced by David Maldonado. Following its New York engagement, the musical will play stops in Chicago; Los Angeles; Miami; Dallas; Washington, D.C.; and Boston, as well several Latin American countries.
Celia, according to press notes, "is the story of an artist's love for her country revealed through a musical life that spans for more than 60 years. Throughout her career, Cruz faces constant successes as well as challenges. As a young woman, she defies her father's opposition to become a singer and conspires with her mother to accomplish her dream. As her fame increases, so does the price of her success. She shares her victories and disillusions with the love of her life, Pedro Knight, and dreams of one day returning to her country. However, that dream is challenged when she is denied a visa to visit her dying mother, and then realizes that she may never again return to her beloved Cuba."
Celia Cruz, who was born in Havana, Cuba, in October 1924, died July 16, 2003, in Fort Lee, NJ. She was the recipient of seven Grammy Awards. Xiomara Laugart, a Cuban native, has recorded more than 15 albums. Until recently, she was the leading vocalist of the group Yerba Buena.
Celia will be performed in Spanish Tuesday-Friday at 8 PM, Saturdays at 9 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. Two performances a week will be presented in English: Saturdays at 5 PM and Sundays at 7 PM.
Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.
New World Stages is located in Manhattan at 340 West 50th Street.