After a three-month off-Broadway run earlier this year, a musical originally created in Phoenix about a dreamer, will be recognized Monday by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) at an award ceremony prices in New York.
On November 14 ¡Americano! will receive the Gilberto Zaldívar HOLA 2022 Award for Outstanding Production as well as the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast Award.
HOLA was founded in 1975 to bring more diversity to theater stages, including Broadway, something “¡Americano!” ran from March 31 until its scheduled closing on June 19, 2022 which was seen by over 20,000 people at the New World Stages near Times Square. It boasted an all-Latin cast.
Past HOLA winners have included Rita Moreno, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Antonio Banderas, and Benicio Del Toro, among many others.
Phoenix resident Tony Valdovinos, whose true story is based on the musical, will be on hand to accept the production award while New York-based Latino actor Sean Ewing, who played Tony on the show, will accept on behalf of the cast. Resident of Paradise Valley and lead producer of “¡Americano!” Jason Rose will also be present along with associate producer Ryan Duncan-Ayala and co-writer and former Phoenix resident Fernanda Santos.
“Americans !” began its journey in April 2015, then spent five years in development before premiering at The Phoenix Theater Company in January 2020, where it enjoyed a record-breaking four-week run.
“As the biggest investor in ‘¡Americano!’ we couldn’t be more proud of the mark the show has left on the community and are grateful that she is recognized in New York for her ambitious and pioneering work in raising awareness for policy change and equal representation,” said David Adame, president and 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 lead investor, a strategic move based on the opportunity to introduce the Dreamers story to new audiences and encourage them to take action to bring 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 many Broadway luminaries, we are now in the process of adding Tony Award winners and other to our team to give us the best chance of getting a stage on Broadway and being commercially successful if and when we do,” Rose said.
“Never in my life could I have imagined that the story of my life would be turned into a musical, debuting in Phoenix, set in New York and now recognized by an organization that speaks to the ethics of this show and my willingness to participate in it with so much passion,” said Valdovinos.
Brought to America when he was just 2 years old by undocumented parents, Valdovinos was inspired by the events of 9/11 to enlist in the Marines on his 18th birthday. But when he did, he learned from the recruiter that his immigration status would not allow him to serve the only country he had ever known. Undeterred, Valdovinos became an agent of change for the Latino community, even electing a Marine to the United States Congress. Today, he continues his reform work while running his own consulting business.
Besides HOLA recognition, “¡Americano!” was nominated for a prestigious Drama Desk Award for Best Score for an Off-Broadway or Broadway Show, composed by artists Carrie Rodriguez of Austin, Texas.