The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center will workshop the new musical Azul at the Waterford, Connecticut, venue in September.
Writers Melis Aker, Tatiana Pandiani, and Jacinta Clusellas will spend nearly two weeks with a professional cast and creative team to explore the piece, aided in the creative process by the Literary Office and the rest of the O’Neill staff. The residency will end with an invited presentation.
Rebecca Martínez will direct a cast that includes Katerina McCrimmon (The Rose Tattoo) as Rita/Bluebird, Robi Hager (Doctor Zhivago) as Young Garcin, Martín Solá (On Your Feet!) as Rey Be, David Louis Merino (Rent tour) as Sebastiano, and Alex Paez (Americano!) as Older Garcin with Adriana Medina Santiago (Christmas in July), Florencia Cuenca (A Never-Ending Line), and Henry Gainza (Mr. Saturday Night) in the ensemble.
Inspired by Rubén Darío's poetry and short stories, Azul is a bilingual musical with a book by Aker and Pandiani, music by Clusellas, and lyrics by Clusellas, Aker, and Pandiani.
The musical weaves together two distinct realms to question the place of art in a capitalist society. Bluebird, a hungry and idealist poet, seeks a better life in a new land, and in a mundane post-9/11 and present-day Jackson Heights, Rita, a composer, struggles to forgive her father, understand her roots, and reconnect to a land she has never known.
“Azul is a musical that once you experience, you never forget,” says Alexander Gemignani, artistic director of the National Music Theater Conference. “Much like its three brilliant creators, Jacinta, Melis, and Tatiana, Azul is full of virtuosity, poetry, heart and authentic beauty. Having been with us for the virtual version of NMTC in 2020, I am beyond thrilled to welcome the team back, this time with cast and musicians, to continue developing this gorgeous and essential work.”
The creative team also includes dramaturg Lexy Leuszler, music director Ben Moss, associate music director/guitarist Federico Diaz, and percussionist Raphael Torn. Casting is by Michael Cassara.