New York Debut: CELIA CRUZ – The Musical at Lehman Center

The Spirit of Celia on Stage Once More! This new experience will be starred by Lucrecia with the support of an orchestra, dancers, and actors


The Spirit of Celia on Stage Once More!  This new experience will be starred by Lucrecia with the support of an orchestra, dancers, and actors

Date: Saturday, November 16th

Show: 8:00 PM

Price: VIP*$100, $65, $60, $55, $45

Venue: Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway.

Low-cost on-site parking available for $5

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents the New York debut of CELIA CRUZ – The Musical, a new and original musical experience that will celebrate the story of the “Queen of Salsa”, multi-Grammy Award-winning. The dynamic 2-hour multi-media show features Celia’s signature style and biggest musical hits like “Quimbara”, “La Negra Tiene Tumbao”, “Tu Voz”, “Bemba Colorá”, and “La Vida Es un Carnaval” performed live by the international singing star Lucrecia with the support of an orchestra, dancers, and actors.

During the show, Lucrecia makes 18 costume changes, wearing dresses and wigs copied from Celia’s original show wardrobe. See the beautiful spirit of Celia Cruz on stage once again! It will be a new original theatrical experience that puts Celia’s music front and center while tracing her life and times.

LUCRECIA was born in the same Havana, Cuba neighborhood as the famous vocalist Celia Cruz, and began studying piano and singing at the age of seven at the Instituto Superior de Arte de Cuba. Shortly after completing her education, she joined La Orquesta Anacaona, the iconic Cuban all-female group, playing keyboards and singing. As the lead vocalist, keyboardist and arranger for the group, she toured internationally in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Leaving the orchestra in 1993, she settled in Barcelona, Spain to form her group as well as to become a film and television actress. Her 2010 release Álbum de Cuba was earned a Latin Grammy nomination. This year she was recognized as the Best Latin American Children’s Movie Actress and Best Children’s Music Singer at the Premios Latino 2019 Awards. After first appearing with Celia Cruz at a 1998 performance event in Marbella, Spain, they became lifelong friends until Celia’s passing. “My admiration, respect, and love for Celia run very deep,” Lucrecia says. “They call her the queen of salsa, but she was always the “Guarachera de Cuba”. It was always about her Cuba, and taking it with her around the world.”

CELIA CRUZ was born in Havana, Cuba and was drawn to music from an early age. She studied voice, music theory and piano at Havana’s National Conservatory of Music and rose to fame as a singer of guarachas, earning the nickname “La Guarachera de Cuba”. After signing with Las Mulatas Del Fuego, she was invited to join the popular orchestra La Sonora Matancera as lead vocalist where she mastered a wide variety of additional musical styles including rumbason and bolero.

Headlining at Havana’s most popular cabarets including the TropicanaSans SouciBamboo, and Topeka, Celia also recorded many albums with the orchestra starting with Canta Celia Cruz in 1956. At the time of the 1959 Communist takeover of Cuba, La Sonora Matancera was touring in Mexico, and the band decided to relocate to New York City, rather than return to Cuba. Celia became an American citizen in 1961 and joined the Tito Puente Orchestra, becoming a dynamic focus for the band with her flamboyant attire, crowd engagement, and unfaltering vocals. In the 1970’s she reinvented herself by singing in the 1973 Latin opera Hommy (a version of The Who’s rock opera Tommy) and by recording updated Latin classics for Johnny Pacheco’s Vaya label.

Emerging as a vibrant singer within New York City’s salsa scene, she collaborated with Pacheco on a series of albums beginning with 1974’s Celia y Johnny with its dynamic single “Quimbara”, and Celia also featured prominently in the salsa supergroup Fania-All Stars. She would go on to perform and record with the Willie Colón Orchestra, resulting in three albums (1977, 1981 and 1987), as well as with La Sonora Ponceña. With a voice described as operatic, Celia sang through high and low pitches with ease, and her style of improvised rhymed lyrics added a distinctive flavor to the Salsa.

Her theatrical costumes, which included varicolored wigs, tight sequined dresses, and outlandishly high heels, became so famous that one of them has been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution. She has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1987) and has even had an asteroid named after her, the 5212 Celiacruz, 1989.

Additionally, she received honorary doctorates from Yale UniversityFlorida International University, and Miami University, and in 2003, a music school was opened in the Bronx named the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. During her lifetime, Celia released more than 75 records, including 23 that went gold, and was honored with eight Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, including the posthumously awarded 2016 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her last album Regalo del Alma, which she recorded shortly before her death, won both regular and Latin Grammy awards as well as the Premio Lo Nuestro Award for Best Female Artist of the Year.

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