Off-Broadway Hit Musical ‘Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz’ Set...

Off-Broadway Hit Musical ‘Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz’ Set for Chicago Premiere at the Athenaeum Theatre

Musical extravaganza to open Mar. 18 for limited engagement Tickets to go on sale Dec. 4! 'EXPLOSIVE' - The New York Post 'DAZZLING TRIBUTE TO CRUZ!' - Sun-Sentinel


CHICAGO, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN) and the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC) are pleased to announce the arrival of the riveting Off-Broadway musical “Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz,” to the Midwest for a limited, one-week engagement at the Athenaeum Theatre, located at 2936 N. Southport, in Chicago. Opening Night is set for Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re delighted to work with the International Latino Cultural Center to showcase ‘Celia’ in Chicago,” said Henry Cardenas, the show’s executive producer. “Since embarking on this tour, we’ve been constantly reminded of how much the world loved and admired Celia. She was an incredibly gifted artist whose legacy will live on forever. We hope Chicago audiences will also enjoy this tribute to the great ‘Queen of Salsa’.”

Since opening to rave reviews Off-Broadway in August 2007, “Celia” has gone on to see continued success in Miami, Tenerife, Spain and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The show launched its international tour in June 2008 in Miami, drawing more than 20,000 attendees including artists Gloria and Emilio Estefan, David Caruso and Jon Secada. Pop queen Madonna also took in the musical during its nine-month engagement in New York.

“The International Latino Cultural Center recognized Celia in 1999 with the Gloria Lifetime Achievement Award — for her artistic excellence and contribution to the development of Latino cultures worldwide,” said ILCC Executive Director Pepe Vargas. “It gives us great pleasure to collaborate with CMN and be a part of this extraordinary musical rendition.”

Beginning Mar. 18, Chicago audiences will be taken on a 60-year journey through the life and music of Cruz, from her humble beginnings in Cuba to her international superstardom. Told through the eyes of her beloved husband Pedro Knight, the show features a superb ensemble of 16 singers, dancers and musicians in a live performance that highlights the global music icon’s greatest hits.

The spectacular Anissa Gathers returns to the stage to sing and act in the lead role of Celia. Music director Isidro Infante — who performed with the real Cruz — leads a seven-piece band that accompanies Gathers and the cast in faithful live renditions of the Queen of Salsa’s repertoire, including “Guantanamera”, “Quimbara,” “Bemba Colora,” “Cucala,” “La Vida Es Un Carnaval” and dozens more that became universal sensations.

To view images of the show, please visit

“Celia” is written by the husband and wife team of Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado and produced by Henry Cardenas, producer of the hit musical, “Who Killed Hector Lavoe?” Director duties fall under Jaime Azpilicueta, one of Spain’s most prominent theatrical directors.

Tickets for “Celia” at the Athenaeum Theatre will go on sale Friday, Dec. 4 at 10:00 a.m. and are $35, $55, $75, and $100 for a VIP package that includes a post-performance Meet-and-Greet with cast members, an official “Celia” polo and coffee mug. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787 or online at

The Sunday, Mar. 21 performance at 7:00 p.m. will contain English and Spanish dialogue (bilingual). All songs during all shows, however, will be performed in Spanish.



Athenaeum Theatre — 2936 N. southport (in Chicago)

Thursday, Mar. 18 @ 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Mar. 19 @ 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 20 @ 5:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, Mar. 21 @ 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. (Bilingual)

SOURCE Cardenas Marketing Network

Off-Broadway Hit Musical ‘Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz’ Set for Chicago Premiere at the Athenaeum Theatre