Antonio Banderas prepares a musical about Picasso

Antonio Banderas, in the presentation of the series 'Genius: Picasso', will once again get into the skin of the painter from Malaga. / EFE

The actor and director will star in this show based on the life of the painter from Malaga, which he develops with the Trafalgar Theater in London

The agendas of the theaters have dates and projects two and three years ahead. For this reason, although rehearsals are about to begin for the next production at the Teatro del Soho Caixabank, an updated version of the seventies musical 'Godspell' by Emilio Aragón, Antonio Banderas' company already has new projects on the table , among which 'Picasso, the Musical' stands out, which will bring to the stage the story of the immortal painter from Malaga and author of 'Guernica'. The protagonist of the shows 'Company' and 'A Chorus Line' will star in this show about his countryman, in which he works alongside the American playwright and theater director Gordon Greenberg and the respected American composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who is also the author of the music and songs of 'Godspell'.

Banderas himself held a working meeting last week in Malaga with Schwartz and Greenberg about the project. A trip that the North Americans also took advantage of to learn about the origins of Pablo Picasso, the painter's own hometown and the San Agustín street museum that exhibits the work of the artist from Malaga, as confirmed to this newspaper by the Teatro del Soho Caixabank. The winner of the Goya for 'Pain and glory' sealed this meeting with a photo that he uploaded to social networks from the terrace of his house on Calle Alcazabilla and in which, in addition to those mentioned, two American professionals of Cuban origin also appear, the actor and director Andy Señor Jr. and playwright, composer and lyricist Caridad Svich.

Gordon Greenberg himself, whose latest premiere was the stage adaptation of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?' (starring Calista Flockhart), confirms on its website that it is currently working with Schwartz on the development of the 'Picasso, el musical' project, in which both the Teatro del Soho Caixabank and the British company Trafalgar Enterteiment are involved, which owns its own theater in London's West End. Although the project is currently in the development phase, the presence of Antonio Banderas would allow this production to reach the stage in both English and Spanish on the stages of Broadway/London and Malaga.

Picasso and Banderas, condemned to meet

This project puts the painter Pablo Picasso back on the trajectory of the actor from Malaga, who a decade ago announced his project '33 days', under the orders of Carlos Saura, about the process of creating 'Guernica', although this script was never it came to shoot due to legal problems of the production company. However, performer and artist were doomed to meet and definitively crossed paths in 2017 with the filming of the National Geographic series 'Genius: Picasso', which thanks to Banderas was filmed in Malaga and had its world premiere at the Cervantes Theater. A production in which the man from Malaga embodies the painter at different stages of his life and for which he had to peel to zero and undergo long makeup sessions to embody the author of 'The young ladies of Avignon' in the last stage of his life.

The playwright and director Gordon Greenberg and the composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz have visited Malaga to meet with Banderas and get to know the hometown of Pablo Picasso

Now, character and actor will coincide again, although it will be on the stage of the theater. The plot or the time in which the musical 'Picasso' will be set is completely unknown, although Antonio Banderas collaborates on this project with two respected professionals on Broadway and London's West End, Gordon Greenberg and Stephen Schwartz, who have already worked together in the adaptation of the musical 'Working'. As explained by the Teatro del Soho Caixabank, during the visit to Malaga of these playwrights and composers, the new version of the show 'Godspell' was also discussed, which will be the third musical show by the Córdoba street company. Antonio Banderas co-produces the work with Emilio Aragón, who will be the director of this new production that will premiere on November 3 in Malaga. Schwartz himself is the creator, together with John-Michael Tebelak, of the music and lyrics of this work that has not been performed in Spain for decades.

In this way, the new production of the Teatro del Soho Caixabank once again puts the company from Malaga at the center of the bullseye of musicals in Spain, although in this case Banderas has already confirmed that he will not be part of the cast. However, the actor has added his name to the future musical about Pablo Picasso, which, in this case, will not stage a play that has already premiered on Broadway, but will instead create a libretto and a score from scratch that promise to add a touch of their own to the entertainment world from one of the most seductive personalities in the art world.

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