Selena Forever was
a stage musical written by Edward Gallardo (book and lyrics)
Fernando Rivas (music) about Selena. The show was created
in 2000 to be a touring production and eventually make it to Broadway.
The show starred Veronica Vazquez as Selena and Denise
Stefanie Gonzalez as young Selena.
Selena Forever was first produced in 2000 to be a touring
production and eventually make it to Broadway with a budget of over $2
million. The musical opened on March 21 at the San Antonio Municipal
Auditorium. Lack of promotion lead to poor tickets sales and the show closed
April 30th after playing only six cities and 62 performances.
However the show received some great reviews. Ricardo Baca in the
Corpus Christi Caller Times (April 6, 2000) wrote:
“‘Selena Forever’ tells star's story with energy, flair. Enthusiastic
audience turned musical's local premiere into a sing-along, dance-along
Deborah Martin in the San Antonio Express wrote, “Doses of
realism enhance musical about life of Selena.”
The musical was revived (completely re-written by Edward Gallardo and
Fernando Rivas with some new songs added and re-produced) in March
2001 in Hollywood under the title of "Selena: A Musical Celebration
of Life". The new version of the show again featured Veronica Vazquez.
The head producer for the show,
Tom Quinn, decided to
perform the show at smaller venues than the original Selena Forever
tour. He wanted to give the production a more “Broadway-style feel”.
The musical opened on March 28, 2001, at the James Doolittle Theatre in
Hollywood, California to great reviews and solid ticket sales.
One of the reasons the new version of show was a success was because,
unlike Selena Forever, the show was advertised. Selena Forever
never had TV spots, billboards or even flyers.
Another reason was that Veronica Vazquez got the fans involved in
the performance. Fans were encouraged to run up to the front of the
stage and cheer as if it was a real Selena concert. Veronica even invited
kids up on stage to dance and sing with her (just like Selena
The musical played for eight weeks with a sold-out house each night,
closing on June 12 after playing almost 90 performances.
What does the future hold for “Selena: A Musical Celebration of
Edward Gallardo says “there is a theatre in Texas, about an
hour out of Houston that wants to do a production in 2111. I'm also
negotiating a production in Monterrey, Mexico.”
When productions plans become definite, I will update this page.
-- T.J., Webmaster (Info from
Wikipedia and Edward Gallardo)
in good stage company
Lead actress Veronica Vazquez gives Selena her all, belting out her hit
tunes with all the energy the slain Tejano star poured into her music.
She plays Selena as more than just a star - she plays her as a
flesh-and-blood woman, making the sense of loss at the end of the
evening that much more profound.
She's in good company on the stage.
At Thursday's premiere performance, Margo Reymundo, who plays Selena's
mom Marcella, stopped the show cold with her passionate rendering of "To
Him, She's a Woman," a reminder to her headstrong husband that their
little girl is all grown up.
Daniel Valdez (Abraham) balances the well-known blustery aspects of his
character's personality with his deep love for his family … San Antonian
Liza Ybarra, who plays Suzette … is a lively presence as Selena's
Maxx, who plays A.B., sets the stage on fire …
The scenes recreating Selena y Los Dinos in concert are among the most
effective moments in the show. Thanks to set and lighting designer Rick
Belzer's work, they play like real concerts, right down to the flashy
light show sweeping over the crowd.
Fernando Rivas' music and Edward Gallardo's lyrics blend well with
Selena's hits …
The show should appeal to both hard-core Selena fans and to musical
theater fans looking to see something new.
-- Deborah Martin - San Antonio Express
power behind 'Selena'
Of the 41 tunes in 'Selena Forever' … 11 are familiar hits that marked
Selena's ascendancey in the music industry. The chart hits include her
fans' favorites, such as 'Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," "La Carcacha," 'Como La
Flor," "Amor Prohibido" and "Dreaming of You."
But the original songs by composer Fernando Rivas and playwright Edward
Gallardo, and a standard, deliver the hardest punches. Most of Selena's
songs are played either in snippets or medleys, but the reasons the
original songs prove compelling go beyond that.
Denise Stefanie Gonzalez, as young Selena, delivers powerful emotion and
longing on "Over the Rainbow," the childlike wish for things to be all
right from "The Wizard of Oz." Mixed emotions come to the surface in
"Abraham's Dream" when Selena's father, played by Daniel Valdez, wonders
why "Mexican-Americans are foreigners in two worlds." Margo Reymundo as
Selena's mother, Marcella Quintanilla, hits several high notes in the
lengthy "Living on a Bus," which details the rough and tumble world of a
novice family band on the road …
The emotional roller coaster gets leavened when Selena sings "I've Grown
Up, Daddy," arguing that she can't compete with Madonna or Janet Jackson
by being Abraham's daughter. Raucous laughs come when Selena's brother
sings the R&B/funk styled "You're going to Die Today, Brother" to Chris
Perez after Abraham learns Perez and Selena have been seeing each other.
After laughter comes heartbreak, with "I Want to Grow Old With You," the
ballad between Chris and Selena, each expressing the longing for a life
together. It never came to be.
The best in-concert Selena song performances come in "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom"
and "Dreaming of You" because of their full instrumentation and magnetic
Clarity comes to the melodic "If Tomorrow," when Abraham sings to Selena
that he would still love her if she had never become a star, because she
was his daughter. The moving number seems to be the demanding and driven
Abraham's way of finding peace with Selena.
-- Ramiro Burr - Billboard
In a theater season that has brought us a bloated Disney spectacle
straight out of "Beverly Hills 90210," "Selena Forever" serves as a
tonic for the artificiality that passes as stagecraft these days.
Make no mistake, however, this new musical bears the stamp of the Great
White Way. … But in adapting the saga of the slain Tejano star for the
stage, creators Edward Gallardo (book and lyrics), Fernando Rivas
(original music) and William Alejandro Virchis (direction) have hit upon
a fresh variation of the usual Broadway formula.
By rearranging the details of Selena's legacy - her hits, her life
experience, even her persona - the musical's creative team has turned
her into a universal figure. Representing the American dream, Selena
serves as every immigrant's story. No matter what nationality, anyone
can identify with her triumph and ultimate tragedy …
As Selena, Veronica Vazquez nails the part completely. (The role is so
taxing that another actress, Rebecca Valadez, takes the matinee
performances). Of course, it helps that Vazquez eerily looks like the
real Selena, right down to her broad hips. But also she's a born
performer, who happens to have been schooled as an R&B singer. That
training shines through her renditions of Selena's hits, "Amor Prohibido"
and "Baila Esta Cumbia."
"Selena Forever" gives voice to the Latino experience; you have to go
back to "Zoot Suit" (from the 70's) to recall anything close. That fact
alone makes it worth seeing.
--Linda Emerick - Chicago Sun-Times
A Musical Celebration of Life
A New Show's About to Begin - Selena and Ensemble ††
The Ballad of Selena - Los Sueños Del Pueblo (Accordion Man)
Como La Flor - Selena Y Los Dinos †
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Young Selena and Young Selena Video
Simply Me - Young Selena
Abraham’s Dream - Abraham, Marcella, Young Selena, Adult Selena
One Half Hour More/Blue Moon - Young Selena, AB and Suzette †
The Ballad of Selena (Papa Gayo’s) - Marcella, Los Sueños Del
Pueblo, A,B., Suzette (Accordion Man)
Abraham’s Dream (Reprise) – Abraham
Living On A Bus / Medley - Marcella, Young & Adult Selena y Los
Dinos, Los Sueños Del Pueblo (Accordion Man)
The Ballad of Selena: Chris Segment – Chris
Baila Esta Cumbia - Selena y Los Dinos
I’ve Grown Up, Daddy - Selena ††
The Ballad of Selena - Suzette, Los Sueños Del Pueblo (Accordion
I Could Fall In Love - Selena †
Pizza & Coke – Selena
The Ballad of Selena - A.B., Los Sueños Del Pueblo (Accordion
My Daughter Wants To Be Just Like Selena - Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Moms
Amor Prohibido - Selena ††
Como La Flor - Selena y Los Dinos ††
Bidi Bidi Bom Bom - Selena y Los Dinos †
God' Child (Baila Conmigo) - Selena and Los Suenos Del Pueblo ††
Tu Solo Tu - Mariachi Woman, Aztec Drummers, Dancers †
Just Be Yourself, Selena - Marcella, Suzette ††
No Me Queda Mas - Selena ††
Bidi Bidi Bom Bom - Selena y Los Dinos ††
La Carcacha - Selena y Los Dinos
To Him She’s a Woman – Marcella
The Ballad of Selena - A.B., Los Sueños Del Pueblo (Accordion
Missing My Baby - Selena y Los Dinos
Dreaming of You - Selena †
Meet Me In Corpus Christi - Chris, Chorus
Tomorrow and Forever - Chris, Selena
You’re Gonna Die Today, Brother - A.B., Friends
Amame, Quiereme - Suzette, Billy, Chorus
If Tomorrow – Abraham
The Ballad of Selena (The Fan Club) - Marcella, Los Sueños Del
Pueblo (Accordion Man)
Como La Flor/ I Will Survive - Selena y Los Dinos ††
Last Dance - Selena Y Los Dinos †
I Could Fall In Love - Selena ††
The Ballad of Selena (The Fan Club Continued) - Los Sueños Del
Pueblo (Accordion man)
Letters to Selena – Women
You're Too Trusting - Chris ††
The Ballad of Selena - Los Suenos Del Pueblo (Accordion Man)
Dreaming of You - Selena, Chorus
The Ballad of Selena (Continued) - Cast
† Was In Selena: A Musical
Celebration of Life but not Selena Forever
†† Was In Selena Forever but not Selena: A Musical Celebration of Life