Photo Flash: Backstage at BABALU with Esparza, Arnaz et al. - Sneak Peek!
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County opened the special engagement of BABALU, a loving tribute and phenomenal stage show celebrating the extraordinary musical legacy of Desi Arnaz last night, July 8. The show will run through July 11. Created, directed, and hosted by Lucie Arnaz, BABALU's engagement at the Adrienne Arsht Center 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. Below, BroadwayWorld brings you a preview of the backstage photo coverage. Check back soon for complete coverage of the event.
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 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.
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 show 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. This extraordinary performance features Arnaz's daughter, actress-singer-dancer Lucie Arnaz, Broadway star Raúl Esparza, fiery Fosse femme fatale Valarie Pettiford, a rare, special appearance by Desi Arnaz, Jr. on percussion, and the original musical arrangements from the Desi Arnaz Orchestra. With music direction by Ron Abel; sizzling performances by local Miami dancers Richard Amaro (Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life) and Jeanette Delgado (principal dancer, Miami City Ballet); and featuring stunning choreography by Ramon Del Barrio (NAACP Theater Award winner and choreographer of Academy Award-winning movie musicAl West Bank Story), BABALU is a Cuban-flavored theatrical tour de force.
Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez
Lucie Arnaz and Raul Esparza