If the kids in your family are still singing “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” every chance they get, then prepare yourself, because that’s not about to stop anytime soon. Disney+ is set to premiere Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl on Dec. 28. The event features a special performance of songs from the movie’s cast, as well as appearances from composer/story writer Lin-Manuel Miranda and Colombian music superstars Carlos Vives and Andrés Cepeda.
The live performances are combined with augmented reality elements for viewers at home, making them feel like they’ve really landed in Casa Madrigal. The show, which features an 80-person orchestra and 50 dancers, follows Mirabel as she tries to fit in with her magically powered family. Choreographers Jamal Sims and Kai Martinez spoke to The Root about bringing a live version of the popular movie to the iconic Hollywood Bowl.
Sims, who recently executive produced and choreographed ABC’s Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, knew Encanto was special the moment he heard the first song from Miranda.
“Our first number that they gave us was ‘[We Don’t Talk About] Bruno.’ Actually the demo was Lin-Manuel singing all the parts. They gave us this demo and said, ‘Go into a room and create this sequence.’ And that song would not leave my head,” Sims told The Root. “It was in my head for nights after we started creating the movement. That has now taken us to the Hollywood Bowl. All over the world now, people are doing the dances and singing the song, it’s just so nice. I knew it was special even before we started the project.”
Martinez was blown away by the representation of the Madrigal family and their community. The choreographer was also excited to create a space to celebrate Colombian dance and culture, which is now taking center stage at one of the most famous venues in the world.
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“Once we got the call to do it on the Hollywood Bowl stage, with 50 dancers, our incredible cast and musicians, our Colombian band and with augmented reality, we knew this is just taking it up 10 levels,” Martinez said. “It’s an honor to be a part of this and to see it from its inception to now.”
As an LA native, the history and legacy of playing the Hollywood Bowl was not lost on Sims, who counts this moment as a dream come true.
“I never in a million years would have thought as a young kid that I would be putting on a show at the Hollywood Bowl,” Sims said. “I drive by there, I see the marquee all the time. What if I told myself when I was like 10 that I would be doing a show there? I just couldn’t imagine, it’s just beyond.”
Just in case you’re wondering, the show is a very entertaining 45 minutes, the perfect length to keep the kids busy while you grab a few moments to regroup from holiday madness.
Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl premieres Wednesday, Dec. 28 on Disney+.
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