Broadway-Style Musical Aims to Help Buy Out the San Miguel Playhouse
By Victor Guzman
In the summer of 2014, some theater enthusiasts signed a lease for a salon de fiestas, or party hall, on Avenida Independencia, installed upholstered chairs, theatrical lighting, and a stage. Thus was created the San Miguel Playhouse.
The theater opened its doors for its first production, Moonlight and Magnolias, in October 2014. Four years later, the playhouse had hosted more than 20 full theatrical productions, and an even greater number of concerts, readings, and benefits. It installed a supertitles system to usher in a new era of community-uniting bilingual theater.
Incontrovertibly, in four years, the San Miguel Playhouse has become the city’s most significant cultural institution for high-quality theater. Now, however, the institution is in peril. The lease has expired on the playhouse building, and the playhouse must deal with the real possibility of eviction.
A group of business professionals with a love of theater is launching a capital campaign to preserve this important cultural institution. In tandem with the capital campaign, one of the biggest theatrical events in the history of San Miguel de Allende is in the final stage of rehearsals—a new musical called Bikers in Camelot, which will have its world premiere at the San Miguel Playhouse. Bikers in Camelot is the work of the wife-and-husband team of Wendy and Ken Bichel, both New York theater veterans.
Wendy, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics, performed one-woman shows in New York for over a decade, received a master’s degree in music theater, wrote on a complete fellowship from New York University, and wrote several successful musicals, including one commissioned by New York’s Public Theater. Ken has performed in and conducted numerous Broadway shows, garnering a Drama Desk Award in the process.
The world premiere, the first-ever presentation of a musical that may be Broadway bound, will take place at a special 3pm Wednesday matinee February 20. The fundraising committee for the San Miguel Playhouse has reserved the entire theater for the event, and is offering VIP tickets for what it calls “a sparkling reception to save the San Miguel Playhouse.”
Tickets for the event are being offered to patrons at US$50 per ticket, or 1000 pesos, and include an after-show private reception with the cast and creators of Bikers in Camelot, with sparkling wine and other refreshments. More importantly, the patrons who attend will not only be the first spectators to see the show but will be helping to inaugurate the capital campaign to save a critically important arts institution.
Boleto City, the exclusive ticket sales outlet for Bikers in Camelot, is selling the VIP tickets for the world premiere/sparkling reception at its location on the second floor of the Mercado Sano, Ancha de San Antonio 123, between 11am and 5pm, Mondays through Saturdays; and online, via its website, boletocity.com.