Spanish-Language Carmen Jones Gets Havana Workshop Premiere; Are London and New York Next?

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13 Jun 2014

Alex Lacamoire
Alex Lacamoire
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A Spanish-language production of Oscar Hammerstein II's Carmen Jones, featuring new musical arrangements by In the Heights Tony Award winner Alex Lacamoire, is hoping to play New York following its Cuban workshop premiere June 13-16.

NBC News first reported on the production that is produced by John Lee and Willem Metz. British director Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) is helming the new version of the 1943 work that features a score by Georges Bizet.

Cuban playwright and poet Norge Espinosa Mendoza penned the new Spanish script and lyrics for the production that is now set in pre-Revolutionary Cuba. The workshop is being staged in an abandoned docks building in old-town Havana. View images of the design and set here by Tom Piper here.

The new production is titled Carmen Jones — El Amor Cubano and centers on Carmen, a young woman working in a Cigar factory outside Santiago as Fidel Castro's militantes wage a nearby war against dictator Fulgencio Batista. The young women dream of leaving their lives behind and fleeing to Havana, but Carmen falls for a young solder assigned with guarding her.

Lacamoire, a Tony Award winner for the orchestrations to In the Heights, has created new orchestrations and arrangements for the production in collaboration with Edgar Vero. The production has choreography by Roclan Gonzalez Chavez.



The all-Cuban cast of 50 is led by 24-year-old actress Luna Manzanares as Carmen.

The cast and creative team are hoping to bring the new incarnation of Carmen Jones to audiences in London and New York following the Cuban premiere.