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Selena Forever - 2001


Selena forever, later called, Selena a celebration of life.
Writer: Edward Gallardo ~ An Award-winning writer
Selena: Verónica Vaquez & Rebecca Valdez
Young Selena: Denise Gonzalez & Lorrisa Chapa
Composer: Fernando Rivas


The life of Selena Quintanilla Perez. The musical centers around Selena as a child, the conflicts in her rise to stardom and the romance between her and Chris Perez. One part of Selena's life that is not shown is her tragic and untimely death, You hear a single shot off stage. The musical was originally called "Selena Forever", but closed for a while and returned and is now called "Selena a Celebration of Life". It was originally supposed to tour the country then open on Broadway but due to some complications is now preformed in Texas only. The women trying out for the Part of Adult Selena were featured on the 'Christina Show', the all dressed up and sang live parts of Selena songs. This is the most demanding role for a female stage actress ever. She has to sing, dance and act all at the same time and look and sound like Selena! Celebrating SelenaSomething unexpectedly wonderful happened not long after the stage play "Selena, A Musical Celebration of Life" opened at the James A. Doolittle Theater in Hollywood on March 28. Midway through the play, as the actress who plays Selena sang "Baila Esta Cumbia," dozens of children in the audience bolted from their seats and rushed toward their idol. "It was amazing," said Jerry Velasco, whose organization runs the theater. "They were reaching out for her, yelling, 'Selena! Selena!' The actress didn't know what to do. So she asked them to come up." The children climbed on stage and crowded around the actress, singing and dancing. Since then, the play's producers have turned the reaction by the audience into a regular part of the play.


One year after the national tour of "Selena Forever" was canceled after playing five cities, the play has been renamed and largely recast and rewritten. Coverage by Hispanic newspapers and Spanish-language radio stations created a buzz, and Los Angeles audiences have embraced the production. Because the play has been so popular and has sold out some nights, the theater has extended the play's run indefinitely. And the play is giving back to the community. The actors routinely visit Los Angeles schools. And there are plans to create college scholarships with a portion of the play's future profits."This is a social experiment," said Joe Bradberry, one of the play's producers. "We want it to be an interactive process as much as we can. The cast members love going out and meeting with the kids."


Musical tribute

The musical is a tribute to the life of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, the Tejano star who lived in Corpus Christi. The play traces Selena's rise from gifted child singer to adult celebrity and also offers glimpses into her family life and her romance with Chris Perez, the band member she married. Known by her many fans by her first name alone, Selena was gunned down at age 23 in a Corpus Christi motel room in 1995. Her fan club president, Yolanda Saldivar, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder. Backers of the original musical production, "Selena Forever," had high hopes when the play began a national tour in spring 2000. But after playing in five cities including Corpus Christi and San Antonio, the tour was canceled. Producers and promoters disagreed on many aspects of the production. The final financial blow came in May last year when lagging sales forced the cancellation of shows at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. New life Producers then talked with owners of the James A. Doolittle Theater, a historic theater with 1,154 seats in the heart of Hollywood. The theater is owned by an arm of Nosotros, an organization dedicated to improving the image of Hispanics in the entertainment industry and gaining more employment for Hispanics in the industry. The Selena production featured an all-Hispanic cast, so it was a natural fit for Nosotros. Nosotros booked the play, and it opened March 28. The run was supposed to end May 27, but it was extended because crowds kept growing. The run has been scheduled to continue indefinitely."I'm kind of intrigued by the Selena mania that has occurred. The crowd that comes in is all the way from 4 and 5 years old to senior citizens," said Velasco, president of Nosotros. With help from corporate sponsors, children who otherwise couldn't afford to attend the play have been bussed to the theater near Hollywood and Vine streets to see the play for free. "The play's about heroes and inspiration, and I stand outside the theater at night and see grandparents and kids, and they have tears in their eyes, and they're hugging each other, and it's great," Bradberry said. "Corpus Christi would be proud of how Selena is received in other parts of the country." 'It's amazing' Selena is played alternately by Verónica Vézquezo New York and by Christina Souza of Los Angeles."It is amazing, the treatment I get just from playing Selena," Vézquez said. "People after the show see me and call me Selena and believe it." Marta Rodriguez, a Los Angeles homemaker, has taken her two daughters, ages 5 and 7, to the play three times. And they plan to go again. "I remember the first time I ever saw theater as a young kid and how it affected me," Rodriguez said. "I wanted to have that same experience for my children. It's a wonderful piece of theater. Very vibrant, very visual, full of ." Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla-Arriaga, saw the play and loved it. "I know they've been having a lot of children going to the matinees and encouraging a lot of the Hispanic community, because we're not really into the arts, in theater," she said. "It was a new experience for me. That was really the first or second time to go to a play or musical, so I think this is really an educational thing." Rewarding for actors It's been rewarding for the actors to perform each week at Los Angeles schools, many of them with predominantly Hispanic student bodies, said Robert L. Trevino, development adviser with Luna Productions, which is producing the play. "It gives (students) hope," Trevino said. "In the Latino community, it shows that one of theirs has made it. And a lot of them have never been to a show, and to be at a show with an all-Latino cast, it really motivates them." Velasco said he always is touched when the moment in the play comes where children from the audience gather around Selena. "I think it shows the charisma that Selena has, or had," he said. "For me, that's one of the saddest things, emotional things. She was so young, and she touched so many people. I could just imagine if she had lived longer, how many lives she would have touched."




A Musical Called SELENA - 2005



Who will interpret it?
Finally, after an exhaustive search to find the perfect girl that will give life to the queen of Tex-Mex, Selena, the Musical, has a new face. There was a lot of talk about the participation of Alessandra Rosado and Mariana Seoane, but it seems that the roll was given to a perfect stranger. You want to know who she is?

The queen of Tex-Mex Lives!

To find someone that someone to enter the famous purple suit of Selena is not so easy. One requires a great talent and a good voice, more when one is in a live musical. For that reason, Don Abraham Quintanilla, Selena's Father, did not rest until finding the perfect girl.

New face for in the role of Selena
Only 17 years old, but with a great similarity and a wonderful voice, Claudia Pelayo will incarnate the famous Selena in the musical, which will commemorate 10 years of her death.


Although Claudia is not well-known in the world of stars, in spite of taking 10 years fighting to occupy a place and trying to send her first disc, this girl remained with the title role that in the beginning had almost went to Alessandra, because the same Abraham Quintanilla had maintained talks with her. Even though the promises of the actress and singer,

To love oneself is your sin
"I think that this one is the opportunity of my life, & I thank for all the people", affirmed Claudia when asking for her reaction when she learned that she had been chosen for the musical.


Claudia was chosen of between 2,200 girls who attended casting, and in agreement with the declarations of the producer of Selena, the Musical, Claudia won her place because she was "the best one singing, the best one dancing, the best one acting and by her impressive freshness".


Even though Abraham Quintanilla does not know personally the girl who will give life to his daughter, Selena, her voice and the videos were sufficient to give the approval to Claudia Pelayo. And she herself assures how hard the competition was.


"I think that all those that came to do casting are wonderful, Alessandra has an incredible, untouchable trajectory, including me, I also am even a fan, I buy discs like everything; but good, the one that has been left I imply many things".

So neither with melon nor with watermelon, Claudia will be the new queen of Tex-Mex.




A NEW Musical Called Selena 2006


First dress rehearsal


Lidia Ávila is ready to represent the life of Selena in the theater. The singer has dedicated many hours to study the songs and each movement of "The Queen of Tex Mex"' with the purpose of interpreting her perfectly.

The dress rehearsal and the design of the image already remade. In order to shine just as Selena, they had to darken her skin color, put extensions in her hair and accentuate the volume of her hips.


Lidia Avila will have a challenge playing Selena

Mexico, January 20, 2006 (Notimex) - Lidia Avila stated that it will be a challenge and a great responsibility for her to have the leading role on a play about singer Selena, whom she always admired.


In statements given to the media during the ceremony for the 200th performance of the play "Besame mucho, el musical," the singer denied that her role in the play would affect the promotion of her latest album.


"On the contrary, it will be a plus for my career, both activities will go holding hands. The people in my record company are happy for my participation in the play, and they will support me because as long as I'm in the theater they'll keep promoting my singles."

Avila stated that in order to perform Selena she is training hard, not in her singing, but in her acting.

She stated that this role is a challenge for her since theater "is more complicated because you don't have the opportunity to do the things one more time," and because her musical genre is similar to Selena's.

She stated that she made the casting for this project, and in December the producers told her she had been selected. However, she added that they asked her not to make any public comments until everything was for sure.

She stated that the play goes for all audiences, and the idea is to show Selena as the great artist and star she was. NTX