The New York Musical Theatre presents Mitch Magonet and Joey Miller's RIO, directed by Scott Faris. RIO plays from tonight, July 10 through July 18, 2012, at St. Clements Church (423 W. 46th Street), and is being produced by Pinny Gniwisch.
Twelve year-old Pipio hunts for his lost mother among the street-kids, gangs and drug-lords that rule Rio's favelas – the toughest slums in the hottest place on Earth. The boy's search for identity becomes a struggle for survival in this re-invention of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist set in modern-day Brazil – a colorful, character-filled Carnaval tale presented by the Escola de Samba Foltando!
Fascinated by the intricate rhythms and music of Rio, Magonet began an eight year journey of discovery about this violent, yet beautiful city. After learning about the tragedy of the 'Candelaria Massacre' where many homeless street-kids were brutally murdered at the church by the police, Magonet and Miller were compelled to tell a story exploring this fragile and powerful world with the sounds, passion and exhilaration of Rio and Carnival. RIO received a workshop at Mirvish Productions in Toronto, and most recently Catholic University in Washington.
The cast of the musical includes: Nicholas Gonzalez (National Tour of A Christmas Story the Musical, Gallery Player's Oliver ) as Pipio, Gilbert Glenn Brown (The Mountaintop at the Inge Theater Festival, Harriet Jacobs. Film/TV: Dreamgirls, "Rain"), Jose Candelaria (Angel of the Amazon: A New American Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar), Nina Crupiti (Christmas Rappings, National Tour: Junie B. Jones ), Kelechi Ezie (These Seven Sicknesses, Tearing Down The Walls) , Dennis Kenney (Kennedy Center's Mame, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Mamma Mia!, National Tour: 42nd St.), Tanesha Ross (B'way: Hair Regional: RENT, Aida ), Mercedes Ruiz (Stockholm Brooklyn), J. Manuel Santos ("Smash"), Lelund Durond Thompson (...and L.A. is Burning, Ain't Supposed to Die ), Zurin Villanueva (Josephine Tonight), Nik Walker (Regional: Into the Woods, Miss Saigon RENT). Creative team includes: Charity Wicks (Music Director), Kate Dunn (Choreography), Colin McGurk (Set Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Consultant), David Kaley (Costume Design), Janie Bullard (Sound Design), Jason Najjoum (Casting), Jack DePalma (Creative Consultant), and Eve Rybnick (General Manager).
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at www.nymf.org or by calling (212)352-3101.