A Brazilian Twist
Book & Lyrics by Karen Zacarías
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
A spunky orphan girl on the streets of Rio de Janeiro discovers a new kind of family in this musical with a Brazilian beat inspired by Charles Dickens’s classic novel.
“OLIVÉRio: A Brazilian Twist shines a light on continuing child poverty in our cities today, but ends on a note of hope – all set to a samba beat and brightened with the flamboyant costumes of Carnival.” – Amy Alipio, Our Kids
OLIVÉRio: A Brazilian Twist was commissioned by the John F Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington DC, and was first workshopped at the 2014 New Visions/New Voices Festival under the direction of Scot Reese. It premiered at the Kennedy Center in January, 2016 under the direction of Juliette Carrillo, with music direction by guitarist Richard Miller.
Oliverio is published by the Dramatic Publishing Company.
“Zacarías explores the immense socioeconomic inequality in a modern, large Latin American city by telling a familiar story in a way that even an elementary school age child could understand. The message offered within the play, likewise, is an important one for even the youngest theatregoer. Hope can survive.” – Jennifer Perry, BWW Review
1. IEMANJA/NEW YEAR’S EVE – All
2. OBRIGADA – Oli, Ensemble
3. JEITINHO BRASILEIRO – Zé, Falcao, Oli
4. A LITTLE BIT MORE – Oli, Nanci, Zé
5. EAT OR BE EATEN – Sykes
6. I’M GUILTY – Oli
7. A VIDA BOA – All
8. THE STORM – All
9. A WISH OUT TO SEA – All
10. CARNAVAL – All
Audio demo features the voice talents of Justin Deninger (Zé), Justin Figueroa (Sykes), Scott Graff (Falcao), Eve La Puma (Nanci), Sharmila G. Lash (Iemanja), Ella North (Oli), Rosie La Puma (ensemble) and the composer (Rosa Maria), along with instrumentalists Richard Miller (Guitar), Leonardo Lucini (Bass) and Bruno Lucini (Percussion).
Cast: 4 Women, 3 Men
DIRECTOR / IEMANJA – Goddess of the Sea, also plays JUDGE (Mezzo)
ACTOR 1 / ROSA MARIA – a fearful rich woman (Alto)
ACTOR 4 / NANCÍ – a world-weary young woman (Alto)
KID in AUDIENCE / OLI – a pure, innocent, kind and smart little girl (Mezzo)
ACTOR 2 / FALCÃO – a charismatic con man (Baritone)
ACTOR 3 / SYKES – a smooth-talking, crooked, unredeemable policeman (Bari/Tenor)
ACTOR 5 / ZÉ ESQUIVA – a crafty, sly, clever boy (Tenor)
“We are dropped into a colorful world of hope, trust, scandal and choice.” – Asha T’nae, Maryland Theatre Guide
Music: Samba, Bossanova, Baiao, and other traditional Brazilian songs scored for Guitar, Electric Bass, and Percussion. Accompaniment tracks available.
Musical Difficulty: Moderate
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Suggested Audience: Young Audiences/Families
KAREN ZACARÍAS (Book & Lyrics) was recently hailed by American Theatre magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the United States. Her plays include Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, Mariela in the Desert, Legacy of Light, The Book Club Play and The Sins of Sor Juana; adaptations include Into the Beautiful North, Just Like Us and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. Zacarías has written 10 TYA musicals with composer Debbie Wicks La Puma including Oliverio: A Brazilian Twist, Ella Enchanted: The Musical, Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure, Einstein Is a Dummy, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Frida Libre, Jane of the Jungle, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans, Ferdinand the Bull and The Magical Piñata. She collaborated on the libretto for Sleepy Hollow and Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises for the Washington Ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her plays have been produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Repertory, the Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Round House Theatre, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dallas Theater Center and many more. Zacarías is a core founder of the Latino Theater Commons, a national network that strives to update the American narrative to including the stories of Latinos. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theatre company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, D.C., and she is proud to be Arena Stage’s first resident playwright. Zacarías lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and three children. www.karenzacarias.com
DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (Music) – see her bio page
To hear a full demo of OLIVÉRIO contact us directly via our contact page.