Bravo to Broadway Show

Even in Nicaragua you do not expect much for five dollars but we got more than our money’s worth this past Saturday night.

The Wanderlust Theatre Company had contacted me a while back wanting to bring a group of singers to Granada and Leon. My initial reaction was thinking this was just another group wanting to send some second level performers to another country to get an interesting trip and showing the charity effort on their website. Boy, was I wrong!

A Little Background

Wanderlust is a NYC based theatre company that offers several productions each season, while also serving the community through outreach and offering classes and workshops. Wanderlust Theatre Co. of New York City has been presenting professional theatre and collaborative projects in Guatemala and El Salvador since January of 1996. Bringing theatre artists from NYC to perform and collaborate with local musicians and performers in the host countries. For the first time they added Nicaragua to their Central America performance itinerary.

This first project in Nicaragua was a small cabaret of Broadway music which will be step one towards larger and extended future projects in Nicaragua. This trip provided opportunity to become connected with the proper people, artists and organizations in Nicaragua for successful ongoing projects. While they will continue to present projects in Guatemala and San Salvador they hope to establish a home base in Nicaragua and eventually create an annual sort of “summer stock” type theatrical repertory experience, including local musicians and performers in addition to the theatre professionals they will bring down from NYC.

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Saturday’s performance was held in the conference center of the much under utilized Hotel Granada. My estimate is that there were around 150 people that attended which is quite a showing for Granada. There were only three singers, two female and one male, and a wizard on the keyboards that also sang several parts. But could they belt out the Broadway tunes! Además, the choral group and several musicians from Tres Mundos participated in the musical presentation. In all, there were 22 Broadway songs with hits from Damn Yankees to Man of La Mancha to Phantom of the Opera. For only five buckeroos you could enjoy this production and many of us paid an additional $10 to enjoy dinner with the show. I thought the dinner was excellent.

For me, it was a refreshing experience. In our former lives, Amy and I always purchased the Broadway Series and symphony season tickets and we had the good fortune to live just outside NYC for 10 years so we saw many Broadway shows. Evita and Phantom of the Opera were always among our favorites. We don’t miss that much from our pre-expat days but once in a while you just want to hear a classical pianist or a live presentation from a theatre group. This show filled that void.

These were top notch professional singers and performers. The Tres Mundos group did an excellent job of providing the strings, orchestral and choral elements to some our favorite songs. I have to admit that their interpretation of “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera gave me chills but I was blown away when the choral group gathered around the balcony to provide the requiem for Evita’s plea to the people of Argentina with “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”. I haven’t had goosebumps like that since the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy came to the cinema theatres.

Considerándolo todo, a very good production. Have not seen so many expats in attendance since Kathy’s Waffle House gave away free hot dogs and hamburgers for Fourth of July many years past.

For those of you that missed this show, no problem. They will be back next year, perhaps as an even bigger production.

For more information of the production group:

http://www.wanderlusttheatreco.org/