Northwest Children's Theater and School's original cast recording of "El Zorrito: The Legend of the Boy Zorro" captures all of the music featured in the musical play.
“En un mundo sin reglas”: in a world without rules, “en un pueblo sin esperanza”: in a town without hope, “un nìno escucha la llamada de un héroe”: one boy heeds the hero’s call! Come celebrate our first bilingual adventure story about integrity, justice and the creation of a legend. An NWCT World Premiere!
In the newly-formed state of California, young Diego de la Vega (Michael Kepler Meo) must take up his father’s sword to defend the town of Capistrano from the machinations of its tyrannical Mayor Ramon (John Ellingson). With the aid of his stalwart, but silent side-kick Bernardo (Kevin-Michael Moore) Diego becomes “El Zorrito”, a masked swordsman who thwarts Mayor Ramon’s schemes at every turn. Ramon, frustrated by his henchman Claude’s (Duane Hall) bumbling attempts to capture Zorrito, hires a mysterious warrior from Spain named only “The Beserker”(Paul Susi). Faced with this new foe, as well as a budding romance with the Mayor’s daughter Christina (Sophie Keller), young Zorrito may have finally met his match.
The legend of Zorro has been thrilling children and their parents since 1919 when creator Johnston McCulley penned a five-part serial “The Curse of Capistrano.” Since then, Zorro has inspired 45 film adaptations as well as the famous television series. He remains one of the all-time great iconic heroes with his signature black mask, cape and sombrero cordobés, fighting for truth and justice while making his foes look foolish in the process.
In adapting this story for the stage writer Milo Mowery and composer Rodolfo Ortega are committed to offering an authentic, bilingual experience. This world premiere production offers a story that can be enjoyed in both Spanish and English while drawing heavily upon contemporary musical theater, traditional Mexican folk-dance, and Zorro’s trademark flashy swordplay. As both composer and sound designer, Ortega focused on creating a score that starts out with a contemporary feel and slowly transitions to a more traditional folk-loric sound.
The key to any production of Zorro is the man behind the mask. In the case of El Zorrito, Northwest Children’s Theater was incredibly fortunate to find Michael Kepler Meo. Since his professional debut in 2009, Meo has performed as a principal singer in eight fully-staged opera productions which include companies in Portland, Houston, St. Louis, Wexford (Ireland), Los Angeles, and New York. At the age of thirteen he has been selected as one of Portland’s outstanding young mucicans by maestro Neil Deponte’s MetroArts Inc. With a history of opera, swordplay (he is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism), and a fluency in Spanish, Michael was the perfect fit for the infamous “Masked Fox”.
Zorrito is aided on his quest by his mother, Esperanza (Veronika Nuñez). As the Senior Bilingual Exhibits Developer at OMSI, and a frequent performer at the Miracle Theatre Group, Veronika is very excited to try her hand at swordplay and Spanish-language musical theater at NWCT. When Zorrito is threatened by the arrival of “The Beserker” Esperanza dons a mask of her own, rallying a chorus of villagers (played by Alberto Romero, Arion Abramovitz, Elizabeth Gibbs, Madison Thompson, Miriam Jaffe, and Pablo Saldana) to rise up and stand by her son’s side.
Music by Rodolfo Ortega
Lyrics by Mowery/Ortega
Story by Milo Mowery & Rodolfo Ortega
Book by Milo Mowery
The town of Capistrano is protected from the villainous Mayor Ramon by El Zorrito, the notorious bandit. But Mayor Ramon will stop at nothing to find and defeat his nemesis. He hires a crazy bullfighter from Spain known as El Berserker, who captures Zorrito and reveals him to be the vain boy Diego. Diego learns to trust his people as they unite on the 5th of May to finally overthrow the Mayor.
El Zorrito el notable bandido protege la ciudad de Capistrano del alcalde Ramón. Pero el alcalde Ramón no parará hasta encontrar y derrotar a su enemigo. Entonces contrata a un torero loco proveniente de España conocido como El Berserker, que captura al Zorrito revelando su veradera identidad: el vanidoso niño Diego. Diego aprende a confiar en su gente, a medida que se unen el 5 de Mayo para finalmente derrocar al alcalde.
Rodolfo Ortega received his Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Arizona and his Master's of Music from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied piano and composition. A recipient of multiple awards, his compositions are frequently showcased at many of the Pacific Northwest's premier theaters.
Rodolfo Ortega recibió su licenciatura en Música de la Universidad de Arizona y su maestría en Música de Manhattan School of Music, donde estudió piano y composición. Ha recibido varios premios, sus composiciones se presentan frecuentemente en muchos de los principales teatros de la costa oeste de los Estados Unidos.
Milo Mowery began his playwriting career in 2000 when he was awarded the Rocky Mountain Theatre Association playwriting award. Since then his work has been staged in California, Washington, Utah, Oregon and New York. A freelance writer, Milo lives in Washington with his wife and three children.