'Babalu' Desi Arnaz Tribute Starring Lucie Arnaz, Desi Jr & Raul Esparza
JUST ANNOUNCED FOR SUMMER 2010
THE ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF Desi Arnaz
Emmy® Award-winner Lucie Arnaz with
Tony® Award-nominees RAÚL ESPARZA
Plus Special Guest
Desi Arnaz, JR.
Hear Desi Arnaz's greatest hits, including the hip-swiveling "Cuban Pete," his signature conga "Babalu," along with the beloved theme from "I Love Lucy," plus dozens of Latin and Broadway standards performed in a live stage show with a sultry Cuban beat,
July 8 - 11, 2010 at 8pm
Tickets $35 to $70
John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County proudly announced the special engagement of BABALU, a loving tribute celebrating the musical legacy of Desi Arnaz. Created, directed, and hosted by Lucie Arnaz, BABALU's engagement at the Adrienne Arsht Center will feature multiple Tony Award-nominee and Miami native Raúl Esparza, Broadway's Tony-nominated diva of dance Valarie Pettiford and in a rare, special guest appearance, Desi Arnaz, Jr. playing percussion on his father's classic hits. With a live 15-piece orchestra playing from the original Desi Arnaz Orchestra charts, BABALU brings the rhythm of the tropics and the glamour of the Tropicana nightclub to the Adrienne Arsht Center July 8-11, 2010 in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. Tickets range from $35 to $70 and will be available beginning on May 14 to premiere seat holders and members. Tickets go on sale to the general public on May 21, and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.
"BABALU is the perfect show for Miami," said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. "This performance celebrates one of America's most beloved entertainment pioneers with the music that made Desi Arnaz a timeless Cuban-American hero. To have his children, Lucie and Desi Jr., starring in this show alongside Miami native Raúl Esparza, ranks this engagement in the Adrienne Arsht Center hall of fame!"
More than 50 years ago, Cuban-born actor, musician, and producer Desi Arnaz became a household name, stealing our hearts as conga player and bandleader Ricky Ricardo in one of the most successful television shows of all time, "I Love Lucy." From his family's humble roots as exiles in Miami, Desi Arnaz built a groundbreaking entertainment empire, revolutionizing the sitcom genre, and introducing the concept of intelligent, charming, hard-working and successful Latinos to audiences everywhere. With his endearing humor, debonair style, and powerful voice, Desi Arnaz infused each song with unique panáche - and none more so than his signature conga, "Babalu."
The stage production of BABALU highlights Arnaz's greatest hits and pays homage to the major role he played in planting the first seeds of the Latin music explosion in this country. With music direction by Ron Abel; sizzling performances by local Miami dancers; and featuring stunning choreography by Ramon Del Barrio, BABALU is a Cuban-flavored theatrical tour de force.
Lucie Arnaz, Emmy Award-winning actress, Broadway star, recording artist, and famed nightclub performer created, directed, and stars in BABALU. At age 15 she co-starred opposite her mother, Lucille Ball, for six seasons on TV's Here's Lucy and went on to create a 45-year career in television, on film, in concerts, and on Broadway. Her famed career includes starring roles in some of Broadway's biggest hits including They're Playing Our Song, and Lost in Yonkers. Arnaz appeared to great acclaim in The Witches of Eastwick on London's West End, and in concerts at The White House, in Las Vegas, and at the famed Birdland jazz club and Feinstein's at The Regency in New York. Arnaz and her husband/actor Laurence Luckinbill teamed up to form ArLuck Entertainment, a film and television Production Company, and together produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary "Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie," which has aired on NBC, A&E, and Nickelodeon. In 2001, Arnaz partnered with her brother, Desi Jr., to produce the "I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special," which also received an Emmy nod. BABALU, Lucie Arnaz's loving tribute to her famous father, inspired her newest CD, LATIN ROOTS, which she produced with musical director Ron Abel and released in February 2010 on LML Music.