Xiamora Laugart
(© Augusto Salinas)
Xiamora Laugart
(© Augusto Salinas)
Cuban recording artist Xiamora Laugart will play the legendary singer Celia Cruz in Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado's new musical Celia, to begin previews on August 28 at New World Stages. The production, to be directed by Jamie Azplilcueta, will open officially on September 12. The show will be performed in Spanish, with two English-language performances weekly.

The show focuses on the life of Cruz, the Cuban-born singer who became a sensation in America after moving to New York in 1965 and striking up a lifelong friendship and professional relationship with Tito Puente. During her career, she won three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammies. She received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton. Cruz, who became known as "The Queen of Salsa" died in 2003 at the age of 77.

The show will also star Modesto Lacen as Cruz's husband, trumpeter Pedro Knight, along with Pedro Capo, Gustavo Wons, Monica Hatter-Mayes, Nina LaFarga, Rogelio Douglas, Skie Ocasio, Sunilda Carabillo, and Wilson Mendieta.