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HELLFIGHTERS ON A LATIN BEAT to Kick Off Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's 2022-23 Mainstage Season

HELLFIGHTERS ON A LATIN BEAT to Kick Off Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's 2022-23 Mainstage Season

The show runs October 6-23, 2022, at PRTT.

Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's 2022-23 Mainstage Season will kick off with a new staging of Harlem Hellfighters on a Latin Beat, a rousing Latinx musical play developed under the leadership of award-winning director and dramaturg Rosalba Rolón and composer Desmar Guevara. It is the story of extraordinary valor and musicianship that made the 369th Infantry of the New York Army National Guard the most celebrated regiment of the World War One era. As the U.S. prepares to enter armed struggle, genius bandleader and conductor James Reese Europe assembles an all-Black regimental band of unprecedent high caliber. Now firmly established as a point of pride in African American history, it is less known that Lieut. Europe recruited 17 of his illustrious musician-soldiers in Puerto Rico, among them the great Rafael Hernández and Rafael Duchesne. The show runs October 6-23, 2022, at PRTT on 304 West 47th Street in Manhattan. Tickets start at only $25 and are available online at www.PregonesPRTT.org or by phone at 718-585-1202.

"A main source for the dramatic through-line came from the memoirs written by Noble Sissle, who was James Reese Europe's good friend," says Rolón. "It gave me cues for a framing story and two important musical numbers. My expertise is in adaptations, and I believe that a good adaptation has to contribute something new. Lifting the Puerto Rican lives that played such a central role in the Harlem Hellfighters' regimental band and their historic tour of duty and back is that innovation. The new staging is heartful and joyous, abundant with the plural forces and meanings that shape real lives."

CAST & CHARACTERS: José Joaquín García is Rafael Hernández, Anna Malavé is Victoria Hernández, Jesús E. Martínez is Rafael Duchesne, Claudia Ramos Jordán is Diana Yager, Pat D. Robinson is Col. Hayward / Gov. Yager, Calvin M. Thompson is James Reese Europe. THE HELLFIGHTERS BAND: Álvaro Benavides on bass, Anthony Carrillo on percussion, Desmar Guevara on piano, Camilo Molina-Gaetán on percussion, Raymond Flores on trombone, Jonathan Cosme on clarinet.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS:

PRODUCTION: Harlem Hellfighters on a Latin Beat at Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

DATES TIMES: October 6-23, 2022 • Thursdays-Saturdays 8pm, Saturdays-Sundays 3pm

TICKETS: Starting at $25 - TICKET BUNDLES and MEMBERSHIPS available, best prices! Online at www.PregonesPRTT.org or by phone at 718-585-1202

DISCOUNTS: Members, Groups, Seniors, Students, Zip Tickets - Restrictions Apply

VISITOR SAFETY: Covid-19 safety protocol requires the use of face mask over nose and mouth.

Rosalba Rolón

is a revered visionary and a passionate creator of musical theater that celebrates Latinx voices and cultures. Co-founder of Pregones Theater and now Artistic Director of Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, she spearheads the sustained development of the company's Latinx acting and music ensemble, creative methodology, and original repertory. Salient distinctions include the United States Artists Fontanals Fellowship in Theater and Performance, Doris Duke Artist Award, New York Latin ACE Gold Award in Theater, Teer Pioneer Award from National Black Theatre, and Creative Capital Award (with Paul Flores and Yosvany Terry). Rolón's many theater credits include TORCHED! about the Bronx fires of the 1970s, ¡GUARACHA! adapted from the novel La guaracha del Macho Camacho by Luis Rafael Sánchez, Betsy! with Roadside Theater, We Have IRÉ with Paul Flores and Yosvany Terry, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers with Magdalena Gómez, among others. She serves on the Nominating Committee for the Tony Awards, presented annually by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League.

Desmar Guevara

Resident Composer and Musical Director of Pregones/PRTT, is a recognized champion of new music idioms in Latin jazz, a composer of experimental and non-traditional music for live theater and film, and an in-demand pianist with numerous concert, touring, and recording credits. He has composed, arranged, and music directed dozens of ensemble theater productions of varying scale, from chamber to Off-Broadway. He is founding director of chamber jazz ensemble Taller Sicá, founding member of Afro Puerto Rican ensemble Viento de Agua, and has collaborated with many musical luminaries including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Tito Nieves, Xiomara Fortuna, Andy Montañez, Soledad Bravo, and Danny Rivera. Recent premieres include Grados Inefables, which delves into the esoteric symbolism and philosophies of Freemasonry, co-commissioned by arts presenters in New York, Colorado, and California.

Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

(aka Pregones/PRTT) is a multigenerational performing ensemble and multidiscipline arts presenter operating with venues in the South Bronx and Manhattan's theater district. Its 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. Pregones Theater was founded in 1979 when a group of artists led by Rosalba Rolón set out to create and tour new works in the style of Caribbean and Latin American colectivos or performing ensembles. Spurred by stage and film icon Miriam Colón, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater was founded in 1967 as one of the first bilingual theater companies in all the U.S. Following merger in 2014, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater plays a decisive role in empowering diverse artists and audiences to claim their place at the front of the American theater.




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