Cambridge theater hosts world premiere of “Real Women Have Curves: The Musical”

Cambridge theater hosts world premiere of "Real Women Have Curves: The Musical"

CAMBRIDGE – More than three decades after the play “Real Women Have Curves” first hit the stage, a musical version is making its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge.

Playwright Josefina Lopez was just 18-years-old when she started to work the semi-autobiographical piece.

“Even though it’s so personal, it’s universal. Because it’s about believing that you deserve better and that you don’t have to carry any shame because there’s nothing wrong with you. You are whole you are enough and you are beautiful,” she told WBZ.

Her family came from Mexico and Lopez was undocumented for 13 years, sewing alongside her mother in a factory.

“At first I didn’t like it because you know, here I am while all my friends are off to the East Coast going to college. And I’m stuck in a sewing factory. And then I got a real education about what it means to be a woman, a real woman. And I had this incredible experience where I got to see the value and the power of women working together,” she said.

Director and choreographer Sergio Trujillo saw that power on the page.

“As soon as I read the play, I knew that it could be a musical. I knew that it had to be a musical. The vibrancy, the buoyancy, the rhythm of the language, characters that were bigger than life,” Trujillo said.

The production at  A.R.T. puts women of color, front and center, and it’s something Lopez is thrilled to see.

“So many Latinas don’t get opportunities to be on stage. And this is the one show where they get to star and feel good about themselves and get to play a lead instead of just a supporting character in the background,” she said.

“We’re so hungry to see ourselves for who we really are. Because I tell people look, it takes so much dignity and courage and resiliency to always be the bad guy in somebody else’s story. We have to know who we are and we have to be able to say that’s not us,” Lopez finished.

 You can see “Real Women Have Curves: The Musical” at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge through January 21.

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