By January 29th, when the show closed, nearly 25,000 audience members had seen I Like It Like That – A Musical at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PRTT) since it began last September. Think for a moment of the significance of this. PRTT has 186 seats available for this production. We performed 8 times a week. Most times, each seat was taken.
As per our program note: “This is a homecoming of sorts, and the show could not have opened in any other New York stage but this one. ILILT is also a crowning achievement of Plataforma: The Bronx-Broadway Showcase for Latino Theater, a producing, commissioning and presenting initiative.” In many ways, I Like It Like That- A Musical, is the ideal project to celebrate the recent merger of Pregones and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.
We are indebted to the vision, skills and resources of our partners and producers David Maldonado (of ¿Quién Mató a Héctor Lavoe?, Celia and Barbería) and David Rodríguez. And to the story that Maldonado and director/playwright Waddy Jáquez brought to us at Pregones about two years ago hoping to partner in bringing it to the stage.
For Pregones, this is our first collaboration with a commercial partner, but the friendship between the PRTT and the creators of I LIKE IT LIKE THAT-A MUSICAL (ILILT) goes back 15 years, so it precedes our merger. We learned to work together, defining our respective territories, influencing and testing each other’s aesthetics and business ‘worlds’. And I believe we have succeeded. Working with David Rodriguez almost on a daily basis was especially satisfying — made only possible because of the amazing work of our respective teams, who have given 200%.
In a nutshell, the process went something like this: together, we organized a series of table readings at our Casa Blanca at Pregones. From there, we began to process a staged concert version. A highlight in this process was the involvement of TITO NIEVES from the beginning of the rehearsals at Pregones. This was his first participation in a musical theater production. It was a learning process for all involved. Artists came and went and each left something special. Waddys Jáquez, Director, and Desmar Guevara, Musical Director, kept the process in focus throughout.
In October 2015 we presented the concert version before a full house at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. The director, playwright and musical director went right back to work. I had the good fortune to join as dramatist, to assist the co-writers with some dialogue and structural options. Fast forward and in September 2016 we were ready!
Each actor on the stage, each musician behind the stage, each designer, crew member and house staff deserve recognition. What a village! And of course, we got lucky when, as Tito needed to leave to pursue his previous commitments, DOMINGO QUIÑONES entered the scene.
SHOUT OUT TO ARTISTS!!
We thank the cast and understudies that are finalizing the run at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater: Shadia Fairuz, Chachi Del Valle, Angel López, Rossmery Almonte, Gilberto Velázquez, Quique González, Nelson González, Sofia Klimovsky, Domingo Quiñones, Besanya Santiago and Natalia Peguero. And to members of the original cast including Tito Nieves, Ana Isabelle and Yesenia Santiago. Understudy Jorge Maldonado was a true comrade when it counted the most! Original BAND: Desmar Guevara, Anthony Carrillo, Bobby Allende, Jorge Castro, Guido Gonzlez, Jerry Madera and Hommy Ramos.
It’s a life journey that will keep I Like It Like That – A Musical in the collective memory of dozens of theater and music makers and the thousands of audiences who saw the show.
For now, please stay tuned for information on touring engagements of the production.
And of course, stay connected with Pregones and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. We can’t do it without you!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
MARCH IS MUSIC
Concerts, Free Piano Sundays and our growing partnership with Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Series
A brand new take of our classic El Bolero Fué Mi Ruina, directed by Jorge B. Merced
STAGE •GARDEN •RUMBA
Year round gathering of neighbors and neighborhoods, community artists and activists gather to meet, share and create inside the theater and in our Garden.
BETSY! on Tour
The touring concert version of our Bronx/Appalachia hit show is in the works!
We will continue to unveil amazing events in the days to come. Check out our website often.
Join us! Become a Member, Volunteer and/or Donor.