Tag Archives: Richard Kagan
From the trumpet blast opening the world premiere Havana Music Hall at Actors’ Playhouse, the stage explodes with color and light and, above all, that pulsing music, all ablaze with a vibrancy and vitality of a time and a world far away. This recreation of a Cuban nightclub in 1958 likely makes the point clearer than any speech or treatise about the cultural, spiritual and artistic treasure that was lost when Castro seized power.
It would be intriguing and accurate, but misleading to say that Havana Music Hall, the hopeful Broadway musical about Cuban artists before and after the Revolution, is the brainchild of 72-year-old New Jersey-born Jewish insurance salesman Richard Kagan. He conceived it, wrote the tuneful score, and is bankrolling a $2 million cost. But he credits a half-dozen others who imbued it with the pungent ethnic flavor and cultural insights he learned second hand.