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'Celia', Musical Tribute to Cruz, Debuts Off-Bway 8/28

An all Latino ensembles prepares for off-Broadway premiere of Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz, beginning previews August 28, opening September 19 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).

"Three-time Grammy and four-time Latin Grammy winner, Celia Cruz is one of Latin music's most unforgettable vocalists, and perhaps the most notable ambassador of Hispanic culture in the world," explain press notes, "It was radio's heyday, and Celia's voice became a regular fixture on Cuban airwaves. In 1950, she was invited to join La Sonora Matancera, revered as the Latin equivalent of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with who she remained for 15 years.  In 1962, Celia married the band's trumpet player, Pedro Knight. 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. She found international fame collaborating with legendary flautist and composer Johnny Pacheco; hits included 'Quimbara,' 'Toro Mata,' and 'Canto a la Habana.' Cruz died on July 16, 2003 leaving a gap in Latin music but sealing her immortal status as the 'Queen of Latin Music,' 'The Queen of Salsa,' and 'La Guarachera de Cuba.'"

The original musical is written by Latino playwrights Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado; directed by Spain's well renowned Jaime Azpilicueta, and produced by Henry Cardenas and David Maldonado, the team behind the hit musical, Who Killed Hector Lavoe? The cast and ensemble include Xiomara Laugart Sánchez, Modesto Lacén, Pedro Capó, Sunilda Caraballo, Rogelio Douglas Jr., Lai-Si Fernández, Anissa Gathers, Wilson Mendieta , Elvis Nolasco y Joselyn Reyes.

The creative team includes Narelle Sissons (set), Sarah Sidman (lighting), Jan Hartley (projection) and Bernard Fox (sound), Haydee Morales (costumes), Ruth Sanchez (hair/make-up) and Isidro Infante (music, arrangements, orchestration).

Performances are Tuesday – Friday at 8PM; Saturdays at 5 & 9PM; and Sundays at 3 & 7PM.  PLEASE NOTE: All performances are in Spanish.  English performances are Saturdays at 5PM and Sundays at 7PM.

Tickets are on sale at or call 212-239-6200 (/6240 Spanish). New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue).

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