The world premiere of Real Women Have Curves: The Musical officially opens at American Repertory Theater December 14 after beginning previews December 6. The run will continue at the Massachusetts company's Loeb Drama Center through January 21, 2024. Tony winner Sergio Trujillo is directing and choreographing the musical adaptation of Josefina López's 1993 play, which also had a 2002 film version.
Lucy Godínez leads the company as Ana, with Shelby Acosta as Prima Flaca, Satya Chávez as Izel, Florencia Cuenca as Estela, Yvette González-Nacer as Mrs. Wright, Sandra Valls as Prima Fulvia, Carla Jimenez as Pancha, Justina Machado as Carmen, Edward Padilla as Raúl, Mason Reeves as Henry, and Jennifer Sánchez as Rosalí. Shadia Fairuz, Elisa Galindez, Michael Keyloun, Christopher M. Ramirez, and Arusi Santi make up the ensemble, with swings Amy Lizardo, Kayla Quiroz, Sage, and Gus Stuckey rounding out the company. Casting is by Victor Vazquez and Duncan Stewart.
Joy Huerta and Benjamin Velez have written the music and lyrics with a book by Lisa Loomer. The work follows a first-generation child of Mexican immigrants torn between joining the family garment business or embarking on her own dream of attending college in NYC.
The production features music supervision by Nadia DiGiallonardo, scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costume design by Wilberth Gonzalez and Paloma Young, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Walter Trarbach, and projection design by Hana S. Kim. Roberto Sinha is music director. Molly Meg Legal serves as production stage manager, with assistant stage managers Alfredo Macias and Cate Agis.
"The night Kamala Harris was named candidate for Vice President I understood why this story should be revisited today," said Loomer in an earlier statement. "We are living in a moment of BIPOC women truly coming into power, and in each of their acceptance speeches, they thank their immigrant mothers. This musical is about that relationship, the complications of being the daughter of an immigrant mother. In a sense, it is about how a young woman becomes a Kamala Harris or an AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez]. And it’s full of the passion, pain, desires, conflicts—and humor—that beg to be musicalized."
"Part of my affinity for Real Women Have Curves is a desire to pay homage to the women—to our mothers, our aunts, our cousins, our friends—who have given us so much," added Trujillo. "I want the Latino community, the brown community to see themselves in these stories. My experience as the son of undocumented immigrants inspires me to do justice to our community."