Two decades ago an off-Broadway play was all the buzz. Salsa music fans, Latinos and beyond were enthralled with the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s production of “Quien Mato A Hector Lavoe” with Domingo Quiñones. Two decades later Flaco Navaja’s “Evolution of a Sonero” has folks feeling that same buzz.
“Evolution of a Sonero” is actually a return Flaco Navaja’s one-man show that fuses salsa, hip-hop, spoken-word poetry and beatboxing with a slice-of-life narrative that takes audiences on a musical journey through the streets of New York and beyond. The show’s lead Flaco Navaja told NBC’s Visiones “I believe we are all and amalgamation of our influences. This show is an opportunity for me to display all those influences. It’s a love letter to salsa it is a love letter to the Bronx.”
In its previous runs, Sonero enjoyed standing ovations and sold-out performances at the Public Theater’s 2019 Under the Radar Festival. National performances quickly followed taking the show on tour to theaters in Michigan, California, and Texas. The show’s return to NYC, at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s Off-Broadway house, treats audiences to a play that-like its central performer-continues to evolve with an eye towards artistic fusion and innovation.
Given Navaja’s innate ability to improvise he is the embodiment of a sonero, however, the musical backdrop for “Evolution of a Sonero” is provided by The Razor Blades, a live band composed of five world-class musicians, who provide the soundtrack to the poignant real life triumphs and obstacles on Flaco Navaja’s path to success.
Of taking Sonero back to the PRTT, Flaco Navaja says: “It is an honor to share my story in a theater with such history, and with a theater company that is so culturally significant. To play on a stage that was once graced by Miriam Colón and Raúl Julia is a dream.”
Director Jorge Merced shares in on the enthusiasm: “It is thrilling to be back home at the PRTT after receiving such rousing accolades during our recent tours. We welcome to the team our friend Ben DeJesus, and are proud to see the Sonero journey continue to evolve with the love of a growing familia. Having incorporated additional music and stories, we look forward to making this celebration of Salsa, the Bronx and Latinidad a truly memorable one.”
Evolution of Sonero runs through January 19th at Pregones/PRTT’s Off-Broadway theater house, located on 304 West 47th Street, New York, NY. Tickets start at $20.00 and are on sale now at PregonesPRTT.org
If you can’t make the show, something tells us with all it’s current success it may be back sooner than you think, perhaps on The Great White Way!!!