Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 10.57.08 PM De la Puente and Davila’s MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, will get a “rematch” on February 20th at Princeton University! The New York Musical Theatre Festival’s award-winning musical comedy about illegal immigration, will receive a workshop featuring student performers, along with members of the original New York cast. Reprising their roles are Gil Perez-Abraham as the undocumented underdog, Manuel, Shakina Nayfack as the Statue of Liberty (NYMF Outstanding Performance award), and Tami Dahbura as Mami. The cast is rounded out by Jackson Perrin, Levin Valayil, Brendan Daugherty, and Princeton University students; Victoria Gruenberg, and Deirdre Ricaurte, as well as students from Rider University; Sophia Introna, and Ashton Schaffer.

This knockout musical comedy about illegal immigration is inspired by the true story of Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a brilliant Princeton undergrad who received a scholarship to study classical Greek and Latin literature at Oxford, and could not leave this country because he had no way of returning due to his immigration status. It’s a story that crosses cultural barriers, and combines Latin rhythms, Rock-n-roll, and hip-hop music to tell a complete American story that is not often found on stage.

The musical was first seen at the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival where it played a sold-out, extended run and was nominated for Best Musical and won awards for Social Relevance and Impact and for leading lady Shakina Nayfack, as well as a Mikey award for the song “Contender.” In 2014 it won the NYMF Developmental Reading Series award.

MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY features book, music, and lyrics by Noemi de la Puente and David Davila with orchestrations by Karl Hedrick. This workshop is produced by Briana Christophers and features music direction by Vince diMura, and direction by Enzo Toral. 

This workshop is sponsored by Princeton Latinos y Amigos and co-sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Davis International Center, the Latino Graduate Students Association, the LGBT Center, the Program in Latino Studies, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Department of Music, the Department of Sociology, the Carl A. Fields Center, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

There are two public performances at the At the Wilson College Black Box Theatre at Princeton University: Saturday February 20th, 2016 at 7 PM and 10 PM. Free admission for current students of Princeton University, $5 for Alumni and General Audiences. For tickets visit:

Wilson College Black Box theatre Map

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