The late, great Celia Cruz, known as “the Queen of Salsa” around the world, is the subject of a bio-musical, and tickets go on sale noon Thursday, May 17, for a one-night-only performance on Nov. 17 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.
“Celia the Musical” tells the story of the beloved singer, who while on tour in Mexico in 1960 was not allowed to return home to Cuba by Fidel Castro. A year later, she became a U.S. citizen. Cruz, who had been a star in Latin American countries since the 1950s, became a global superstar in the 1980s through extensive touring and frequent appearances on European television.
Cruz won six Grammy Awards, starting with Best Tropical Latin Performance in 1990 (and received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016). She appeared in the 1992 movie “The Mambo Kings” with Antonio Banderas. President Clinton awarded Cruz the National Medal of Arts in 1994. That same year, she was inducted into Billboard’s Latin Music Hall of Fame. She died in 2003 of brain cancer at the age of 77.
Cruz’s hits include “Guantanamera,” “Quimbara,” “Bemba Colora,” “Cucala” and “La Vida Es un Carnaval.”
To be fair there have been other stage musicals. “Celia: the Life and Music of Celia Cruz” ran off-Broadway in 2007 and went on a world tour a year later. This show, “Celia the Musical,” actually got a preview in Miami last December. In this stage musical, Cruz’s final concert is re-created and the narrative is told in flashbacks.
“Celia the Musical” will be performed 8 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami. Tickets will cost $59, $79, $99, $129 and $159. To order, call 305-949-6722 or go toArshtCenter.org.