'Real Women Have Curves' gives voice to struggles in women's lives and bodies
Cambridge, Massachusetts’ American Repertory Theatre, best known for sending its
productions to Broadway, started 2024 with another hit on its stage — the
world premiere musical adaptation of “Real Women Have Curves.”
The show, based on the 1990 play by Josefina Lopez, follows the struggle of a group of mostly women living in the U.S. without legal permission who work in a garment factory in 1987 Los Angeles. The protagonist, Ana, played by Lucy Godinez, is torn between the world of her mother and sister who work as seamstresses, and her own goal of attending Columbia University, where she’s been accepted on full scholarship.
The often-emotional, sometimes funny, and always powerfully acted musical deals with issues ranging from immigration raids to discrimination to women’s struggles to accept their bodies. And show’s title, “Real Women Have Curves,” refers as much to the curves of life as to the curves they all reveal during one musical number where they pound out the message that it’s time to love the bodies we’re given. The show also takes on the themes of family and freedom.
written by Lisa Loomer, with music and lyrics by Joy Huerta and Benjamin Velez. It’s directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.
Lucy Godínez (Ana) and Justina Machado (Carmen) in the A.R.T. world premiere of “Real Women Have Curves: The Musical.” (Courtesy of Nile Hawver/Maggie Hall)
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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