Although now a long-time resident of New York, Migguel Anggelo doesn’t stray far from his Venezuelan roots. His latest theatrical piece, Another Son Of Venezuela, is the seventh show he will be presenting at Joe’s Pub; the first six were performed in front of sold-out crowds, of course.
A collaboration with director (and Obie Award winner) David Drake, Another Son features a backing band on-stage, The Immigrants, beyond Migguel. Led by Musical Director and keyboardist Mau Quiros, the Immigrants provide a nice mix of combine Latin, pop and folk classics alongside original work by Migguel and Mau.
In support of the September 28th performance of Another Son of Venezuela at Joe’s Pub, I had the opportunity to speak with Migguel about the upcoming show and plenty more. Migguel was insightful and interested in his responses, as expected, but I was surprised about which classic sitcom’s reruns he favors most.
Where did the idea for Another Son Of Venezuela come from?
Migguel Anggelo: This past summer, we were very fortunate to do a residency in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center for the Arts, a joint partnership between the Kimmel and Joe’s Pub, and while in Philadelphia we set a goal to dig deeper personally. I had been already exploring issues of immigration and displacement on stage and in my music, but in Another Son Of Venezuela, the relationship to my specific background is more direct.
How did you and David Drake first meet?
M: Two of the most talented folks working in the theater these days, Dick Scanlan and Christine Jones, were so kind enough to introduce us to David Drake. We clicked immediately, and are having a great time collaborating.
How would you describe the show to someone who hasn’t yet read up on it?
M: The show blurs the line between live music and theater. It’s poetic storytelling with a lot of music, and at times it’s really funny, and at times, a little political, and at times really moving. We combine original compositions that my Musical Director, Mau Quiros, and I are writing with David Drake, as well as Latin, pop, opera, and folk classics that all speak to the very personal immigration themes of love, loss, family, and national pride. The show takes place during National Hispanic Heritage Month, by the way. The music and issues we speak to in the show play tribute to our rich heritage through the lens of my personal experience, and the show is in both Spanish and English, reflecting our ever-expanding bilingual world.
Will Donald Trump be on the guest-list for the September 28th show?
M: (laughs) I would actually LOVE that! It would certainly create the PERFECT audience participation moment!
How does a performance of Another Son Of Venezuela compare to a regular non-show live band performance of yours?
M: There’s a story here that threads the songs like beads on a necklace. There’s an arc that is theatrical and a stream of ideas that give dramatic structure to the songs. We are really excited to be plunging more into the world of theater. Music will always be at the core. That’s the foundation, but I love the theatrical, the dramatics! We have some ideas that we are cooking up for new pieces that will push the theatrical even further.
Are there plans for Another Son Of Venezuela performances outside of New York City?
M: Right now we are focusing our energies on developing this piece at Joe’s Pub, but in the future, we would love to perform it in other cities.
When not performing, do you have a favorite venue in Manhattan to see concerts at?
M: I might be partial, because Joe’s Pub has become like a second home to us, but I think the Public Theater and Joe’s Pub are such incredible places and where I get lost and wowed constantly. And the folks there champion and cultivate DIFFERENCE, variation, community. It’s pretty awesome. I really love Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center too. Bjork’s recent show at Carnegie Hall was magical.
And when you’re not working, what do you like to do with yourself?
M: I’m also a visual artist, so when I’m taking a break from performing, I make paintings and sculptural pieces of furniture that are covered with such unexpected, everyday materials as thousands of matches or thumbtacks. I go to all kinds of theatrical performances — whether on Broadway, or at obscure small theaters, BAM, or Lincoln Center. I love spending time at MoMA and other museums or galleries, and I love watching animated movies. But the one thing I never get tired of is watching reruns of The Golden Girls. Never!
Finally, Migguel, any last words for the kids?
M: Come see us on September 28th at 7:30 p.m. at Joe’s Pub! You’ll have a great time, and free hugs for all after the show!
-by Darren Paltrowitz