Americano at Phoenix Theatre Company 5

The faces behind the production share their stories

Americano! is based on the life of Tony Valdovinos, a graduate of Camelback High School who was brought from Mexico by his parents at age two. This true story follows Tony who discovers his undocumented status when he tries to enlist in the Marines. With his lifelong dream of serving in the military vanishing, Tony must confront his family, his heritage, and a deeply divided country. Americano! has the hefty goal of casting a human light on what it means to be a Dreamer.

Jason Rose – Creator and Producer of Americano!

The force behind Americano! is Jason Rose; serving as creator and producer of the musical.

Four years in the making since his initial meeting with Artistic Director of Phoenix Theatre Company Michael Bernard, Rose notes that Americano! would not be what it is without incredible writers like Jonathan Rosenberg who, like Bernard, led the team, Carrie Rodriquez who wrote, sang and created all the music, and others like Arranger, Sergio Mendoza and Executive Producer Ken Davenport who brought his Tony Award Winning acumen to the production. Rose had never written a musical before and he harnessed the expertise of this talented team to make Americano! what it is.

“This incredible original work is one of the most ambitious, timely, important and entertaining new musicals of 2020. We are all excited to see it hit the stage through February 23 at The Phoenix Theatre Company.”

As the owner of a long-standing Scottsdale public relations firm, Rose has worked on some amazing projects, namely the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships. He knows the idea of being a dreamer is one he emulates, and feels others with glean the nostalgic pull as well.

“Art imitates life and I think Americano! shows us that when we allow ourselves to dream and aspire to something better, we can pave other important paths even if they weren’t the ones originally intended.”

Carrie Rodriguez, Composer and Lyricist – Americano!

Composing the music for Americano was a collaborative effort, and at the helm was Rodriguez. No stranger to the music scene, her most recent album, Lola (2016, Luz Records), was her first bilingual release and most autobiographical album to date. She also presents an ongoing concert series called Laboratorio, which is a musical celebration and exploration of Latinx culture and its contribution to the American experiment.

At age five, Rodriguez fell in love with the violin. Since then, it’s been an ongoing affair with music, making it the driving force in her life, “I began as a classical violinist, hoping to get a position in a major symphony orchestra. This parlayed me into touring with singers on the fiddle. My first touring gig was with legendary singer-songwriter, Chip Taylor (he wrote hits such as “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning”). He soon convinced me to sing duets with him.”

It wasn’t long before Rodriguez was recording 3 duet records with Taylor and finally her first of four solo albums in 2006.

After crafting the songs for Americano!, Rodriguez had a chance to hear them sung by an almost full cast, allowing for necessary revisions to align with the context of the entire musical. She also feels fortunate to have spent time with Americano! inspiration, Tony Valdovinos, and get an in depth look at his journey.

Music is essential in this stage performance and she feels it will make the audience want to dance along, “At its heart, this musical is a celebration of the kind of American story that we can all relate to and be inspired by…no matter what our political leanings are.”