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.
“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
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 ZACARIAS (Book & Lyrics) world premiere adult plays include Mariela in the Desert (Repertorio Espanol), How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Round House Theatre), and Legacy Of Light and The Book Club Play (Arena Stage) directed by Molly Smith.
Karen is the winner of the 2006 Francesca Primus Award for her play, Mariela in the Desert (World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago). Mariela is also the winner the 2005 TCG/AT&T First Stages Award, the 2004 National Latino Playwrights’ Competition, finalist for the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. Her play The Book Club Play was part of the O’Neill Playwrights Conference in 2007. Her play, The Sins of Sor Juana won Outstanding New Play at the 2000 Helen Hayes Awards and has been produced throughout the country. Karen is a core member of the Playwrights’ Center.
Her musical plays for young people with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma have enjoyed productions at The Goodman Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, The Coterie, Chicago PlayWorks, Nashville Children’s Theater, The Alliance Theatre, Imagination Stage, Arden Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Honolulu Theater for Youth, St. Louis Rep and more.
Karen Zacarías is the founding artistic director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning non-profit dedicated to enhancing literacy, arts empowerment and conflict resolution through playwriting in Washington, DC area schools. She lives in DC with her husband Rett, and children Nico, Kati, and Maia.
DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (Music) – see her bio page
A demo of OLIVÉRio: A Brazilian Twist will soon be available for purchase.
And in the meantime, visit Crunchynotes on Bandcamp to purchase other cool tunes!