The music of the late rock pioneer Ritchie Valens is back on stage.
La Bamba!, a new musical based on the legacy of Valens, who passed away at 17 in a plane crash known colloquially as "the day the music died," begins performances at London’s Peacock Theatre, Sadler’s Wells August 22, following a U.K. tour. The production will continue in London through September 2.
The cast features Strictly Come Dancing champion Pasha Kovalev, Siva Kaneswaran, Inês Fernandez, Bethan Mitchell, Stefani Ariza, Julia Ruiz Fernandez, Nicolle Matheu, Gabriella Rose-Marchant, Alex Sturman, Brendan Graham, Tristan Ghostkeeper, and Luke Jarvis
Using a selection of Valens songs, as well as Latin folk music, contemporary rhythm and blues, and more, the musical follows Sofia (Fernandez),
a small-town girl from Los Angeles on her journey to stardom. Her dream
of becoming a superstar began when her father, Ricardo (Kovalev),
handed her a guitar. With the help of her family and best friend Mateo (Siva Kaneswaran), Sofia will discover that while talent makes you a star, fate can make you a legend.
La Bamba! is choreographed by Latin dance champion and Strictly Come Dancing choreographer Graziano Di Prima, with associate choreography by his wife and fellow Strictly Come Dancing alum Giada Lini. The musical is directed by Ray Roderick and features new music by Alfonso Casado-Trigo.
Following the London run, La Bamba! will subsequently continue a U.K. tour through December.