We’re going to Cuba! Well, 42nd street is. Broadway is sending a live concert event called “Broadway Rox” to Cuba. This is a concert highlighting the rock and pop songs on Broadway through the ages, including song from shows such as “Wicked,” “Rent,” “Hair” and many more. The concert is a part of the in Havana Theatre Festival that is going on in the capital city of Havana at the end of this month.
Positive relations with Cuba are still very fresh, with the announcement of the reinstallation of diplomatic ties in December. Stipulations of the ties, and the details of the relationship, have gradually changed over this year, ultimately creating the healthiest communication the United States has had with the island in decades. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry even visited the country in August to raise the flag outside of the new, reinstalled U.S Embassy in Havana.
It’s crazy to think about the United States’ new relationship with Cuba. I remember growing up learning about the Cuban missile crisis, and thinking we would never be allowed to visit. I remember hearing stories about refugees swimming to the Miami shore, and listening to my friends talk about their grandparents escaping the country under the Fidel Castro regime. I remember hearing about the Cuban culture in Miami, and parts of Miami being called, “Little Havana”.
I also remember about the Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot policy that the America adapted in 1995. It basically says that Cubans swimming to Miami to gain asylum will become citizens the moment they reach the shore. American-Cuban relations have been a long time coming.
And now we can better experience the Cuban culture. Better yet, American culture is going there, too. Bringing music, dance and culture to Cuba, from America is so incredibly progressive. I’ve learned from my friends who have visited Cuba that traveling there is like going into a time capsule: cars look like they are from the 1950s, streets look vintage, houses are quant.
I think bringing Broadway to Cuba is the ultimate mark of inclusion and good relations between these two countries. By bringing part of our American culture to Cuba, a place that hasn’t had much external cultural influences for many generations, we can start understand and embrace each other’s cultures, ideas and music.
We’ve gained a great ally in Cuba — in the past we’ve missed out on so much sharing and collaboration. It’s time we start learning about each other. It is my hope that Cuba does the same as Broadway, and brings Cuban music to us. I would love to experience it firsthand.