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EVOLUTION OF A SONERO Returns to Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

EVOLUTION OF A SONERO Returns to Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (Pregones/PRTT), in collaboration with Ben DeJesus presents the return of Flaco Navaja's one-man show, Evolution of A Sonero, January 9-19, 2020.

Written and performed by Bronx-native actor, singer, and HBO Def Poetry Jam alum Flaco Navaja, Evolution of a Sonero fuses salsa, hip-hop, spoken-word poetry and beatboxing to weave a slice-of-life narrative in a tour de force performance that takes audiences on a musical journey through the streets of New York and beyond.

Directed by Pregones/PRTT's Associate Artistic Director Jorge B. Merced, Evolution of a Sonero is part salsa concert and part love letter to the Bronx.

In its previous runs, the show enjoyed standing ovations and sold-out performances at The Public Theater's 2019 Under the Radar Festival. National performances quickly lined-up­ taking the show on tour to theaters in Michigan, California, and Texas. The show's return to NYC, at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's Off-Broadway house, treats audiences to a play that-like its central performer-continues to evolve with an eye towards artistic fusion and innovation.

The musical backdrop for Evolution of a Sonero is provided by The Razor Blades, a live band composed of five world-class musicians, who provide the soundtrack to the poignant real life triumphs and obstacles on Flaco Navaja's path to success.

Of taking Sonero back to the PRTT, Flaco Navaja says: "It is an honor to share my story in a theater with such history, and with a theater company that is so culturally significant. To play on a stage that was once graced by Miriam Colón and Raúl Julia is a dream."

Director Jorge Merced shares in on the enthusiasm: "It is thrilling to be back home at the PRTT after receiving such rousing accolades during our recent tours. We welcome to the team our friend Ben DeJesus, and are proud to see the Sonero journey continue to evolve with the love of a growing familia. Having incorporated additional music and stories, we look forward to making this celebration of Salsa, the Bronx and Latinidad a truly memorable one."

Evolution of a Sonero was developed with support from Pregones/PRTT's Step Up Artists in Residence initiative, funded by The New York Community Trust. This program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with City Council, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Southwest Airlines is the Official Airline of Pregones/PRTT.


Written and Performed by: Flaco Navaja

Direction and Dramaturgy: Jorge B. Merced

Lighting Design: Lucrecia Briceño

Costume Design: Emilio Sosa

Sound Engineering: Milton Ruiz


Bass: Waldo Chávez

Piano: Carlos Cuevas

Percussion: Gabo Lugo and Víctor Pablo

Trombone: Hommy Ramos


Evolution of a Sonero will have 8:00 pm runs Thursdays through Saturdays, a 7:00 p.m. show on Sundays, and 3:00 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at Pregones/PRTT's Off-Broadway theater house, located on 304 West 47th Street, New York, NY. Tickets start at $20.00 and are on sale now at or by phone at 718-585-1202.

ABOUT Flaco Navaja

Born and raised in The Bronx, Flaco is a singer, poet and actor. If Héctor Lavoe boxed Rubén Blades and KRS-1 was the referee you'd get Flaco. His poetry combines singing, hip-hop, and spoken word, having way with words that is second only to his way with a song. Flaco recently played the role of Raul Julia, the legendary actor and PRTT alum, in the critically acclaimed American Masters documentary film Raul Julia: The World's a Stage directed by Ben DeJesus. An equally passionate performer in English and Spanish, he is an ensemble member of Pregones/PRTT where his credits include the Off-Broadway run of El Apagón/The Blackout, adapted from the short story "La noche que volvimos a ser gente" (The Night We Became People Again) by José Luis González. He is a fixture of the Nuyorican Poets Café and star of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Film & TV credits: Pride & Glory, Fighting, Gun Hill Road, Law & Order, C.S.I. NY, East Willy B, and more.


Jorge B. Merced is the Associate Artistic Director of Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. He's an acclaimed theater actor and director, and a graduate of CUNY-CCNY Department of Theater. He also trained with Osvaldo Dragún, Eugenio Barba, Miguel Rubio & Teresa Ralli of Yuyachkani (EITALC 89 - Cuba), Augusto Boal (Brazil & France), and Alvin Ailey Center. Numerous credits with Pregones/PRTT include El Apagón/The Blackout, Baile Cangrejero, Aloha Boricua, Neon Baby, El Bolero Was My Downfall, among others, and the decade-long run of the LGBTQ Asunción Playwrights Project. Other Directing credits include: Fellini's La Strada with René Buch and Verano Verano (IATI), Swimming While Drowning (Cara Mía). He is a member of The Lucille Lortel Awards Nominating Committee.

ABOUT Ben DeJesus

As an award-winning filmmaker, TV director, music video veteran, and theater producer, Ben DeJesus has over 15 years of experience creating content through a Latinx perspective. In his Broadway producer debut, Ben was nominated for a Tony Award for John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons, which also toured nationally. Ben began his career as a stage actor before joining MTV, becoming one of the original producers and writers of the iconic series MTV Cribs. His passion for pop culture, music and theater has fueled his work since. Ben also recently directed the acclaimed American Masters film Raul Julia: The World's a Stage and the PBS documentary John Leguizamo's Road to Broadway. Ben is the head of NGL Studios, a production company co-founded with partners John Leguizamo and David Chitel.


Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater is an award-winning acting and music ensemble, multidiscipline arts presenter, and owner/steward of bilingual arts facilities in The Bronx and Manhattan. Our mission is to champion a Puerto Rican/Latinx cultural legacy of universal value through creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences. Our year-round programs offer attractive and affordable opportunities for arts access and participation to NYC residents and visitors alike.

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