“Americano”: The first original Arizona musical to hit Broadway
March 17, 2022
He wanted to be a marine, but he couldn’t because he wasn’t a citizen. Instead, DREAMer Tony Valdovinos, ended up creating “Americano”, the first original Arizona musical to reach Broadway, to inspire other dreamers like himself. Earlier we spoke with the musical’s creator, Tony Valdovinos.
“I am just very grateful I think, very energized, very hopeful. The journey is obviously what the story is about, but I am very very hopeful and energized out here,” Valdovinos said about being in New York.
He tried to enlist in the marines at the age of seventeen. He saw a lot of his friends doing it and wanted to be apart of it.
“When it came to it, I had to confront my parents about documents I needed. I was always working with my father, I worked construction with my father from a very young age all the way up to that time. So I never needed to get outside employment, and that moment came where I wanted to become a man, to make something of myself and i believed wholeheartedly that the marine corp was for me. That day day came with the recruiter, and I was devastated to be told to leave because I did not have sufficient documentation. I absolutely felt rejected and hurt,” Valdovinos said.
After that moment, his parents had to tell him that they did not have any documentation.
Valdovinos worked with Jason Rose who is lead producer in the musical. “What everyone said I think we are on to something, in Arizona, telling a story about immigration. We then said we want to pivot to a story of a dreamer,” Rose said. The co-author of another story, Jonathan Rosenberg, googled Valdovinos’ story.
Five years later, the musical is a big hit, showing in New York. They even have billboards in Times Square.
“I did believe significantly in the responsibility and the opportunity to possibly anybody who went through a hard time regardless of the challenges in their lives,” Valdovinos said.
Valdovinos was able to join the marines later in his life, and said the Marines has always been at the core of his journey.