Latinx Broadway Stars Unite Virtually With A New, Bilingual Rendition Of 'The New World / Un Nuevo Mundo'
On June 3rd, 2020, at 8pm EDT, five Latinx Broadway sensations will unite "separately" to premiere a new, bilingual version of The New World as part of the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe's "Art Is Not Canceled Night of Special Performances."
On the eve of his first preview for Broadway's Plaza Suite revival, (starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Mathew Broderick,) cast member and Native Angelino, Danny Boléro found himself quarantined, unemployed and, like everyone else, at home watching the number of Covid-19 fatalities multiply.
Things got real on hearing that friend and colleague Felipe Gorostiza, a director, actor and producer, had lost his battle with the virus. Feeling helpless, Danny turned to music. Frustration turned to motivation as he listened to the opening number from Jason Robert Brown's Songs For A New World. The song, "The New World" is a moment of decision, the point of transition from old to new, when the cast realizes things will never be the same.
The message was in the lyric:
It's about one moment
That moment you think you know where you stand
And in that one moment
The things that you're sure of slip from your hand
And you've got one second
To try to be clear, to try to stand tall
But nothing's the same
And the wind starts to blow.
Boléro (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, In the Heights, Plaza Suite) decided that the message needed to be shared. He reached out to fellow In The Heights cast members, asking them to join him in a new Latinized, bilingual version of the song. Musical director and composer Jaime Lozano quickly joined the team and along with Jesús Altamira, a new bilingual rendition was arranged that stayed true to the beautiful, intricate harmonies of the original piece, while adding hip-swaying Latinization.
Boléro also reached out to Jason Robert Brown, and was honored when he replied, "Danny, I'm delighted that you want to do a Latino version of the song, and I'm happy to give you my blessing."
The cast of five singers joining Boléro include Songs for a New World original cast member Andréa Burns (In the Heights, The Nance, On Your Feet), who had performed in Brown's 1995 New York City debut; Natalie Toro (Les Miserable, Evita, In the Heights, Tale of Two Cities); Genny Lis Padilla (In the Heights, Rent, On Your Feet); and Cedric Leiba Jr. (High Maintenance, Rent, Carmen La Cubana).
"If you would have told me that I would be producing a Zoom-style music rendition during a stay-at-home moratorium in the middle of a pandemic in New York City, I would have responded with, 'Get out of here!'" Boléro said.
The final component was a tech-savvy filmmaker to bring the performance together for all to see. "You can't do a zoom video without knowing how to do a zoom video," Boléro laughed. He enlisted a long-time colleague, the director, writer, producer and casting director Elaine Del Valle, who smiled and kindly volunteered to steer the project.
The New World/Un Mundo Nuevo can be seen via the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe's virtual event "Art is Not Canceled-Night of Special Performances" hosted by Del Valle.
Wednesday June 3rd, 2020 at 8pm EDT
Viewers can watch/attend virtually via Zoom
Zoom ID 89838472116
Direct Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89838472116