This special “salon” evening will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by an intimate conversation and performance by two-time Tony nominee, Josie de Guzman. Addressing issues of cultural displacement, racism, and the search for home, Ms. De Guzman, born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico, will explore her personal experience of living between two cultures through selections from the American musicals West Side Story, Capeman, and In the Heights, and the Puerto Rican works Fela and Quien Mato a Hector Lavoe, and the Spanish language musical based on Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera: Pedro Navaja.
Music moved across oceans as Spanish colonizers brought popular ballads from Andalusia and courtly dances from Madrid to the New World while West African slaves contributed music for voice and percussion of great rhythmic complexity – each addition enriching the mix of music and cultures. Later, when Puerto Ricans came to New York City with that distinctive brew, they mixed it with the Cuban Son and Mambo to create an entirely new form – the immensely popular Salsa.
Josie de Guzman, handpicked by Leonard Bernstein for the role of Maria in the 1980 Broadway revival of West Side Story, is a versatile and critically acclaimed actor/singer. She has performed a wide range of major roles on and off Broadway, The Public Theatre, and BAM in New York City, Hartford Stage in Connecticut, and the Alley Theatre in Houston.
Music director and pianist Larry Yurman will accompany Ms. De Guzman. Most recently, Mr. Yurman music-directed and conducted the Broadway production of Grey Gardens. His numerous credits include Broadway, Off Broadway, and regional theater. He has arranged and music-directed Ms. De Guzman’s club act and has completed a recording of Noel Coward songs with Christine Ebersole.
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