CUBA LIBRE World Premiere Musical Comes to Portland’s Artists Rep This Fall


Artists Repertory Theatre is thrilled to present the world premiere production of the new musical Cuba Libre at the Winningstad Theatre from October 3 – November 8, Broadway World reports .

The irresistible rhythms of Cuban music drive this riveting, timely story of a man caught between countries, losses and loves, and his search for freedom. Set in America and Cuba, this universal tale reverberates across politics, ambition and romance with quick-witted dialogue, joy-filled dance and Latin-fusion beats. This Broadway-scale, contemporary musical features the internationally acclaimed, three-time Grammy nominated band Tiempo Libre with a company of 22 actors, dancers and musicians in a not-to-be-missed theatrical event.

Cuba Libre involves a primarily Latino creative team, many of whom are Cuban-American, who are focused on telling this story with authenticity, integrity and joy. Backing this production with funding and deep Broadway-producing expertise is Tony-nominated producer Susan Dietz (Fela!, Topdog/Underdog, It’s Only a Play). Cuba Libre represents the most ambitious project in Artists Rep’s 33-year history, and comes at a time of renewed public interest in the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

Cuba Libre Director Dámaso Rodriguez says: “Cuba Libre is a dream many years in the making. When I was invited by Tiempo Libre and producer Susan Dietz to join this project over three years ago, we did not have a script or even a story. Our collective intention, however, was crystal clear: create a bold, bilingual musical theatre experience that would introduce Tiempo Libre’s exhilarating brand of Afro-Caribbean music (known as “timba”) to a wider audience while telling a universally resonant story of modern-day Cuban life capturing some of the complexity of the immigrant experience. Despite our hopes, we could not have predicted that a team of such inspired collaborators as playwright Carlos Lacámara and choreographer Maija Garcia would join this project, nor could we have predicted that a surprising, still-developing chapter in the history of Cuba’s relation to America would begin before Cuba Libre’s premiere.”

Cuba Libre is a contemporary musical inspired by the collective histories of the members of Tiempo Libre, featuring a book by playwright Carlos Lacámara, the band’s own music and spectacular choreography told by a company of 22 actors, dancers and musicians. The musical is a bilingual theatre experience with the majority of the dialogue in English and the music largely in Spanish. Told in flashbacks from present-day Miami to 1990s Cuba, the story centers around a Cuban musician still haunted by the sacrifices he, his friends and family made for him to pursue his artistic dreams in the U.S. while he makes a new life for himself as an American.

For the original report go to

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