Brian Quijada’s idea to combine his mother’s story with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is excellent and the execution of it is exceptional. The Dorothy character, based on his mother, wants to move to the USA to make a better life for herself and her son. Her mother, the witch, doesn’t want her to go. She first meets the scarecrow character, a banana farmer who wants to earn an American college degree. Then she meets the Tin Man character, who oils himself with booze and lost his heart when his family moved to Pennsylvania. Lastly, she meets the Cowardly Lion, who needs the courage to pursue her dream of being a rock star in the states. The Wizard of Oz is the coyote who will take them across the border.
Brian Quijada, the Narrator, is outstandingly charming and impressive in the many roles he plays along with his singing and guitar playing. In addition, he also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. It’s a masterful piece of work.
The fantastic music is the heart of the show. It includes original cumbia, Mexican mariachi boleros, American rock and hip hop. The band plays it all fantastically. The members are Guido Acevedo (Cajón), Yendrys Céspedes Carballosa (Keyboard/Percussion), and Roberto Carpacho Marin (Upright Bass).
Gabriela Moscoso is excellent as the Dorothy character driven to find the American Dream. Claudia Quesada is solid as the Witch character, who is very angry with her daughter’s decisions. Tommy Rivera-Vega (Support Group for Men) is so funny and smart at the Scarecrow character. Andres Enriquez (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Adding Machine) is great as the Tin Man character, hilariously drunk and heartbroken from his loss. Amanda Raquel Martinez (American Mariachi, La Ruta) is superb, especially during the rock song she sings declaring her rock star dreams. Just like in the film, these characters also play someone from Dorothy’s hometown.
Cost of a ticket: $53
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
Get tickets now for Somewhere Over The Border through June 12!
If you like this musical, you’ll also like the brand new Notes & Letters. See our review here.