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'Celia' Extends By Popular-Demand thru Jan 2008

Due to popular response, Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz is extending performances at New World Stages for the holiday season through January 27 2008, tickets on sale now at or call 212-239-6200 / 6240 Spanish.  New World Stages at 340 West 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue

Performances are Tuesday – Friday at 8PM; Saturday at 5PM* and 9PM; Sunday at 3PM and 7PM*.  * English performances. All other performances are in Spanish. Please visit

The musical stars Xiomara Laugart as Celia Cruz, Modesto Lacén as Pedro Knight, Pedro Capó as the loyal confidant, and Selenis Leyva as The Woman. With Sunilda Caraballo, Anissa Gathers, Grizel "Chachi" Del Valle, Wilson Mendieta, Elvis Nolasco and Sekou McMiller.

The original musical is written by Latino playwrights Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado; directed by Spain's well renowned Jaime Azpilicueta, choreography and Production Supervisor by Maria Torres (Latin Heat, Four Guys Named Jose, Idlewild, El Cantante) and produced by Henry Cardenas and David Maldonado, the team behind the hit musical, Who Killed Hector Lavoe?

The design team includes: Narelle Sissons in Set Design; Sarah Sidman for Lighting Design; Jan Hartley for Projection Design; and Sound Design by Bernard Fox. Also in the production team are Haydee Morales for Costumes, Ruth Sanchez in hair and Make up, and Isidro Infante for music, arrangements, and orchestration.

"From her humble beginnings in Cuba to her formidable sixty-year career, three time Grammy and four time Latin Grammy winner, Celia Cruz is indisputably one of Latin music's most important and unforgettable vocalists, and perhaps the most notable ambassador of Hispanic culture in the world. It was radio's heyday, and Celia's voice became a regular fixture on Cuban airwaves.  Along the way, she met many influential artists and music producers.  In 1950, she was invited to join La Sonora Matancera, revered as the Latin equivalent of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.  She remained with La Sonora Matancera for 15 years.  On July 14, 1962, Celia married the band's trumpet player, Pedro Knight.  It was a relationship that would last a lifetime.  Their journey together began in Mexico, where the orchestra set up base after Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba.  Celia vowed never to return to the island. In 1965, Celia launched her solo career.  She relocated to the Big Apple, where she eventually teamed with the legendary Tito Puente, with whom she would always continuing working with," describe press notes.

She found international fame collaborating with legendary flautist and composer Johnny Pacheco, co-founder of Fania Records. Their huge hits included Quimbara, Toro Mata, and Canto a la Habana among many others.Celia Cruz has been immortalized in film with cameos in Hollywood films including The Mambo Kings and The Perez Family. She has recorded with some of the biggest names from all genres of music: David Byrne, Willie Colón, Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, Gloria Estefan, Wyclef Jean, Angela Carrasco, Oscar D'Leon, Jose Alberto "El Canario," la India, Marc Anthony and many others. Cruz continued to record and perform until sidelined by a brain tumor in 2002. While recovering from surgery she managed to make it in to the studio in early 2003 to record her last album, Regalo de Alma. Celia Cruz died on July 16, 2003. The passing of Celia Cruz left a huge gap in Latin music but sealed her immortal status as the "Queen of Latin Music", "The Queen of Salsa," and "La Guarachera de Cuba."

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