Director Andy Senor Jr Defied Cuban-Exiled Parents and Went To Cuba To Stage A 'Rent" Musical Production
- Category: Interviews
- Created: Thursday, 17 June 2021 20:21
- Published: Thursday, 17 June 2021 20:52
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Andy Señor Jr. took the Broadway production of the Rent musical to Cuba in 2014. The stage play director and filmmaker Victor Patrick Alvarez documented their struggles in bringing the musical to Cuba, and revisiting their parent's homeland in the new HBO documentary, REVOLUTION RENT, executive produced by Neil Patrick Harris. Adding to the pressure was their families' disapproval of them going to the Communist country.
CineMovie zoomed with Señor and Alvarez to discuss what it was like returning to their parent's homeland and producing and directing the first American Broadway musical for the Cuban audience.
The documentary proves the struggle is real for young artists no matter the country or language. However, the better story is director Andy Señor Jr. reconnecting with the country that exiled his family and helping his mom bring closure with Cuba.
REVOLUTION RENT is now airing on HBO and HBO Max.
HBO’s REVOLUTION RENT, directed by Andy Señor Jr. and Victor Patrick Alvarez, follows Señor Jr. to Cuba, where he is tasked with directing a stage production of the Tony® and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, “Rent,” the country’s first Broadway musical produced by an American company in more than 50 years. Returning to his exiled parents’ homeland, Señor Jr. embarks on a personal journey, exploring his Cuban heritage and his family’s complex relationship to the country they love. REVOLUTION RENT debuts TUESDAY, JUNE 15 (9:00–10:30 p.m. ET/PT) in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the iconic musical’s Broadway premiere.
REVOLUTION RENT will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.
“When we began working on the production of ‘Rent’ in Cuba and documenting the journey along the way, I had no idea how the story would unfold and that our documentary would end up on HBO,” says director Andy Señor, Jr. “I am beyond thrilled to share this deeply personal and magical moment in our lives and I'm grateful that Jonathan Larson's words and music are still making such an impact, 25 years later.”
“Traveling to Cuba to make this film was incredibly challenging yet rewarding in ways I never imagined,” says director Victor Patrick Alvarez. “REVOLUTION RENT is about creativity in the face of adversity and the healing powers of human connection.”
“Andy and I started our RENT journey together many years ago and I was proud to see him take his talents to Cuba,” says executive producer Neil Patrick Harris. “REVOLUTION RENT is a continuation of our journey as well as a tribute to the power of theater and its ability to transform lives.”
Señor Jr. started his career in the late ‘90s playing the role of Angel in the Broadway production of Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” and he has been inextricably tied to Larson’s work ever since. REVOLUTION RENT follows Señor Jr. as he develops the groundbreaking production, from auditions through closing night, highlighting the many setbacks and accomplishments that he and his cast and crew encounter along the way. This emotional and revealing documentary reimagines “Rent” in a Cuban context, highlighting Señor Jr. as he explores questions of family, history, and heritage.
HBO Documentary Films presents REVOLUTION RENT. Directed by Andy Señor, Jr. and Victor Patrick Alvarez; written by, Andy Señor, Jr.; produced by, Scott Fenn, Christine O’Malley; executive produced by, Neil Patrick Harris, Brooke Christian, Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, Robert Nederlander, Jr, Marvin Kaplan, Jacob Parker, Stanley Browne, Zoe Chapin, Shea Martin, Karim Amer, Mark Berger.