Carmen is reincarnated once more! An updated version of Carmen Jones, the Broadway musical adapted from Georges Bizet’s iconic opera, is receiving a makeover in Havana, Cuba, under the title Carmen Jones—El Amor Cubano. According to NBC News, the show will play four performances later this month and director Christopher Renshaw reveals in the video below that he would like to take this production to London or Broadway.
The new production brings the tragic story to a cigar factory in pre-Revolutionary Cuba. Along with Tony nominee Renshaw, the production's creative team includes choreography by Rocian Chavez and a Spanish book and lyrics penned by playwright Norge Espinosa. The cast is led by Luna Manzanares as the titular fiery diva.
Carmen Jones premiered on Broadway in 1943. While Bizet’s music remained primarily intact, the Broadway production featured English lyrics and an updated book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein and new orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett. The setting was moved to a World War II-era African American community in a Southern town. Bizet’s arias were transformed into new, theatrical takes; the musical numbers include “Dat’s Love,” “Stan’ Up and Fight,” and “Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum.” A film adaptation was made in 1954.