Laura Esquivel’s 1989 novel Like Water For Chocolate, adapted for the screen in 1993, is now headed to the stage: A musical version to be directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer with original music by the Grammy Award-winning Latin group La Santa Cecilia is in development, producers announced today.
La Santa Cecilia will write the lyrics along with Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes, with a book by Lisa Loomer (The Waiting Room, Girl, Interrupted), according to producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittleman.
A section of the never-before-heard music will by performed tonight by La Santa Cecilia as part of the digital concert event ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices at BroadwayCares.org.
“In times of waiting many wonderful things happen,” Esquivel said in a statement. “Dreams take shape and become voices, harmonies, dance. The musical Like Water for Chocolate waited until a group of extraordinary dreamers came together: La Santa Cecilia and Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lisa Loomer and Michael Mayer, and Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman, the ideal group to give voice to the culture that runs through our veins and waited years to be seen and heard. My thanks to all of you for dreaming the dream of a dream.”
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In the production’s description, Like Water For Chocolate centers around an epic battle between familial obligation and romantic desire in turn-of-the-century Mexico, while celebrating the rich land’s culture and cuisine like no novel before or since.
The novel has sold millions of copies around the world and has been published in 45 different languages.
Director Alfonso Arau’s 1992 film adaptation became the highest-grossing foreign-language film ever released in the United States and Canada at the time, earning ten Ariel Awards including the Best Picture and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
La Santa Cecilia won a 2014 Grammy for its album Treinta Días, and has collaborated with artists including Elvis Costello, Bunbury, Fito Paez, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and Pepe Aguilar. The group’s music was used in the Pixar movie Coco and they created the theme song for the Netflix series Ingobernable. The band’s songs have also appeared in TV shows Weeds, Entourage and The Bridge.
A timeline for the stage musical has not been released.