West Coast Premiere of EVOLUTION OF A SONERO Comes to The LATC

Performances run May 13 through May 28.

By: Mar. 29, 2023

West Coast Premiere of EVOLUTION OF A SONERO Comes to The LATC

Sonero [noun]: an improvising lead singer in salsa music. Latino Theater Company in association with Chicago's UrbanTheater Company presents the West Coast premiere of Evolution of a Sonero, bringing the streets of the Bronx to The Los Angeles Theatre Center for a limited three-week engagement May 13 through May 28. Two low-priced previews take place on May 11 and May 12.

Hip-hop meets salsa when poet, actor and singer Flaco Navaja, backed by a live, five-piece salsa band, creates a love letter to his native Bronx, imbuing it with the charm, rhythm, soul and improvisational spirit of a true sonero.

"The entire show is structured like a salsa song," explains Navaja. "Salsa is a metaphor for my life."

Directed by Miranda González and featuring a libretto arranged by Carlos Cuevas, Evolution of a Sonero delivers a testament to human resilience in a spirited concert theater tribute. Backed by five world-class Latinx musicians in the role of The Razor Blades band, Flaco Navaja draws from Héctor Lavoe, The Doors, KRS-1, and the many humorous friends and family who shaped him.

The Razor Blades are Carlos Ordiano and piano; Edward Resto on ElectriBass; Juan Moreno on congas; Richard Velzen on trombone; and Joey De Leon on timbales. Scenic design is by Manuel Ortiz; lighting design is by Ellie Humphrys; and costume design is by Sarah Albrecht. The stage manager is Iliana Citlaly Solorzano and the production manager is May Fei. Antonio Bruno, Miranda González and Iván Vega co-produce for Urban Theater Company.

Evolution of a Sonero was originally developed in 2017 at Pregones/PRTT in New York City as part of their Step Up artist-in-residence program. With direction and dramaturgy by Jorge B. Merced, it had its world premiere run at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in Manhattan in 2019. The show received its Midwest premiere courtesy of UrbanTheater Company as part of the 2022 Destinos Chicago International Latino Theater Festival.

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Navaja has established himself as a prominent voice of the Puerto Rican Diaspora and has graced acclaimed theater stages such as The Public Theater and Pregones/PRTT. As a poet/spoken word artist he has performed nationally and internationally and has hosted the legendary open mic showcase All That! Hip Hop Poetry & Jazz at the famous Nuyorican Poets' Cafe. He's also appeared on four episodes of the HBO series Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam and had the honor of being a part of the Tony Award-winning international tour. His voice can be heard singing the theme song for the PBS kids' animated show Alma's Way, and, along with legend Marc Anthony, on the Grammy nominated movie soundtrack of In The Heights. He currently performs his own style of salsa music with his band, "The Razor Blades," combining spoken word with old school salsa. He recently released his first single, "Cantale a la Vida," which can be heard on Spotify. Navaja's television and film credits include Blue Bloods, Gotham, East WillieB, CSI: NY, ROMA: The Silent Film, Love Magical, Gun Hill Road and Fighting.

The Latino Theater Company is dedicated to providing a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; and a place where the convergence of people, cultures and ideas contribute to the future. Now in its 38th year, LTC has operated The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a landmark building in Downtown's Historic Core, since 2006.

Evolution of a Sonero opens on Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter taking place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through May 28. Two preview performances take place on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. and Friday, May 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $22-$48, except opening night which is $58 and includes pre- and post-performance receptions, and previews, which are $10.

The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking is available for $5 with box office validation at Joe's Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater).

For more information and to purchase tickets, call (213) 489-0994 or go to Click Here.



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