Azucar will get another shot in the limelight this year. A new theatrical production of a Celia Cruz musical is further proof that the world just cannot get enough of the Guarachera legend’s musical presence. Even despite the string of musicals that have been made in her honor and the fifteen years that have followed her death.
Cruz’s former manager Omer Pardillo-Cid will bring the Afro-Latina’s story back to the stage.
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In the years following the Cuban icon’s death, her life’s story has been produced into various musicals, plays and even television series. In 2004 a musical called “Azucar!” opened in Tenerife. Three years later, another musical, titled “Celia,” was produced on the Off-Broadway venue New World Stages. More recently, in 2015, Telemundo premiered an 80-episode docu-drama about her life also called “Celia.” Still, despite the number of productions that have taken up the task of depicting the Cubana’s story, an article published by Billboard says Pardillo has been largely unimpressed with the portrayal of the late singer’s life and career.
In an interview with Billboard, Pardillo, described the importance of retelling the story of “a black woman, who was poor, who left Cuba and conquered the world,” as well as his effort to bring the beloved singer’s true story to the theatrical world.
Pardillo’s new musical will recreate Cruz’s final concert and her most celebrated songs including “Quimbara” and “La Negra Tiene Tumbao.”
Pardillo, who is also the singer’s executor of her estate include, says the play will flashback to events from the singer’s life that inspired some of her most well-known songs. As for who he has tapped to portray the husky vocals of the singer, Pardillo says that he has cast Lucrecia, a Barcelona-based Cuban singer. Given the songstresses’ lively spirit and voice, the decision really comes as no surprise and we’re pretty excited to see la negra power being restored to some of Celia’s most beloved hits.
In her part as Cruz, Lucrecia will wear 18 different outfits and an array of wigs for the show. The show will see an August 18 premiere in Spain and will follow up with a tour across Latin America in the months that follow.