Miami New Drama Presents The World Premiere Of VIVA LA PARRANDA! A New Musical
Miami New Drama (Michel Hausmann, Artistic Director; Olga Granda, Executive Director) is proud to announce the world premiere of Viva La Parranda!, a new musical developed by and starring Venezuelan musical sensations Betsayda Machado and the members of La Parranda El Clavo, based on their own life stories and the parranda song tradition, in collaboration with Juan Souki.
When you hear the music of Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo, you hear the heartbeat of their town nestled in the lush jungle outside Caracas, Venezuela. Viva La Parranda! weaves together songs, stories, and sensory experiences to recreate life in El Clavo on the stage at the Colony Theatre. "Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo are consummate performers in their own tradition," says artistic director Michel Hausmann. "Miami New Drama is delighted to adapt our theatre to fit them, rather than the other way around."
The company prides itself on producing new drama that resonates with Miami's diverse communities, and this story of the Afro-Latin experience in Venezuela is no exception. On stage at the Colony Theatre, you'll hear the joys and sorrows of Betsayda and the members of La Parranda El Clavo in their own voices, with English translations in supertitles. Oscar speaks of a lifetime farming cocoa for the chocolate you love, and of the land redistribution schemes that broke his trust in the government. Youse describes the impact of his father's untimely death, and his mother, Blanca, tells her story of raising her son on her own. Asterio, one of twenty-one brothers, explains how music helped his family grow together. Nereida and Orheo teach you dances that express joy while bearing the marks of their region's tumultuous history: you move your feet like you still feel the shackles ofslavery.
Those stories together with songs and sensory experiences, immerse audiences in El Clavo. When you enter the theatre, you'll share a coffee with the multigenerational cast, or help them cut vegetables for the sancocho that cooks on stage throughout the show. You'll feel a part of the living tradition of parranda, where the music is not taught in schools or preserved on paper. It's something people pass voice to voice and drum to drum, and they create new songs to tell the stories that affect them most deeply, like the ravaging effects of organized crime in the region and the economic and political crisis that rocks Venezuela today.
To create this new production, Juan Souki drew on experiences from his previous career in devised theatre to elicit and distill the deep personal stories that make up Viva La Parranda. "It would have been an insult to write a show for them," he remarks. "We built a script together using only their own words." Those authentic words, parranda song, and sancocho stew give Viva La Parranda! its power to transport audiences, so they experience Venezuela from the inside.
What: Viva La Parranda! A new musical
When: April 25 - May 19; Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 3pm