‘¡Americano! The Musical’ honored by
HOLA for message behind performance
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press
Today in New York City, “¡Americano!” is receiving the 2022 Gilberto Zaldívar HOLA Award for Outstanding Production as well as the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast award.
The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors or HOLA was founded in 1975 to bring more diversity to theater stages, including Broadway, something “¡Americano!” did from March 31st until its scheduled June 19 closing that was seen by over 20,000 people at New World Stages near Times Square, according to a press release.
It boasted an all-Latin cast.
Past honorees of HOLA have included Rita Moreno, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Antonio Banderas and Benicio del Toro, among many others.
Phoenix resident Tony Valdovinos, whose true story the musical is based on, will be on hand to accept the production award while New York City Latino actor Sean Ewing who played “Tony” in the show will accept on behalf of the cast.
Town of Paradise Valley resident and Lead Producer of “¡Americano!” Jason Rose will also be in attendance with Associate Producer Ryan Duncan-Ayala and Co-Author and former Phoenix resident Fernanda Santos.
“¡Americano!” started its journey in April 2015 and then spent five years in development before premiering at The Phoenix Theatre Company in January 2020, where it enjoyed a record-setting four-week run.
“As the largest investor in ‘¡Americano!’ we couldn’t be prouder of the mark the show has made in the community and are grateful it is being recognized in New York for the ambitious, pioneering work it is in raising awareness on policy change and equal representation,” said David Adame, president & CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, a 54-year-old social justice organization with programs and operations in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and California.
CPLC became the show’s leading investor, a strategic decision rooted on the opportunity to bring the story of Dreamers to new audiences and encourage them to take action to bring about long-overdue policy change and equal representation in the arts.
“Following our impactful run in New York earlier this year that included visits from President Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda and numerous Broadway luminaries we are now in the process of adding Tony Award winners and others to our team in order to give us the very best chance at gaining a Broadway stage and being successful commercially if and when we do so,” Mr. Rose said in a prepared statement.
Mr. Valdovinos echoed a similar sentiment.
“Never in my life could I have imagined that my life story would be turned into a musical, debuting in Phoenix, running in New York and now being recognized by an organization that speaks to the ethic of this show and my willingness to participate in it so passionately,” said Valdovinos.
Brought to America when he was but 2 years old by undocumented parents, Mr. Valdovinos was inspired by the events of 9/11 to enlist in the Marines on his 18th birthday. But when he did so he learned from the recruiter that his immigration status would not allow him to serve the only country he has ever known. Undeterred, Mr. Valdovinos became a change agent for the Latino community, even electing a Marine to the United States Congress. He continues his reform work today while running his own consulting business.
Besides recognition from HOLA, “¡Americano!” was nominated for a prestigious Drama Desk Award for Best Music for an Off-Broadway or Broadway show, composed by Austin, Texas-based artists Carrie Rodriguez.