Buena Vista Social Membership Sizzles At The Atlantic Theatre

Natalie Venetia Belcon, Julio Monge Photograph by Ahron R. Foster

Buena Vista Social Membership was a 1997 album that offered eight million copies, making it the biggest-selling Cuban album in historical past. The album went on to win a Grammy and when it did, director Wim Wenders made it into an award-winning function movie in regards to the phenomenon. Nick Gold, whose World Circuit label launched the file, said “The file’s success launched what can solely be described as Cuba-mania, serving to to encourage a thousand salsa dance courses and Cuban-themed bars on each excessive avenue. Buena Vista was not a lot a file as a model.”

Now taking part in at The Atlantic Theatre is the musical adaptation of Buena Vista Social Membership developed and directed by Saleem Ali. What makes this present, is the infectious music performed by Rensito Avich, Gustavo Schartz, Javier Diaz, Mauricio Herrera, Román Diaz, Guido Gonzalez, Edward Venegas, Hery Paz, Leonardo Reyna, Jared Machado, and Julio Monge. Be ready to chair dance and see a sea of bobbing heads and undulating shoulders. This music is properly lead by David Yazbek, music supervisor Dean Sharenow, music director Marco Paguia, affiliate music director David Oquendo and Tim Hanson (music preparation). Anticipate to be vibrated, thrilled and put right into a collective bubble of pleasure with the plush sounds of the Caribbean.

Jared Machado (at microphone with guitar) and the corporate of Buena Vista Social Membership. Photograph by Ahron R. Foster

The sensual, sexual and seductive choreography by Patricia Delgado and Justin Peck has the ensemble and  musicians strutting their stuff.

Not solely does this present sound nice however Arnulfo Maldonado’s set, Dede Ayite’s costumes and lighting by Tyler Micoleau, put you in 1950’s Havana and you may really feel the warmth.

Jared Machado, Kenya Browne, Olly Sholotan Photograph by Ahron R. Foster

The present follows Omara Portuondo performed by the exceptional Natalie Venetia Belcon in current day and Kenya Browne as she was within the 50’s. Juan de Marcos (Luis Vega), a younger producer, is getting his break and wishes a singer to convey again old-school Cuban dance music. He contacts Omara, who he has been instructed is tough. Omara lastly agrees, however she will get to decide on the singers who she sings with. She goes again to her previous and contacts  Compay Segundo (Jared Machado because the youthful model, Julio Monge within the current) and Ibrahim Ferrer (Olly Sholotan because the youthful model, Mel Semé, within the current).

In Omara’s previous she sang together with her sister Haydee (Danaya Esperanza) at The Tropicana, however Omara needs extra. She discovers the underworld of the Buena Vista Social Membership and singer Ibrahim who she duets with on some terrific melodies.
In 1956, Omara recorded with a reside band for the primary time in a studio; now, 40 years later, she has returned to make sure Ibrahim receives the billing and respect he deserves. It appears within the 50s, his pores and skin was deemed too darkish, and he was compelled to sing beneath the stage.
In between we get snippets of the Cuban Revolution, the hunger, the pianist Rubén González (Jainardo Batista Sterling) and a lot extra.
This homage to a time passed by, exhibits how music is at all times the fixed that will get us by, retains us standing and will get us transferring to the beat of survival. Hopefully this present will transferring to Broadway in time for the Tony Awards, which it is going to sweep.

Buena Vista Social Membership: Atlantic Theater, Linda Gross Theater till January 21, 2024.

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