Migguel Anggelo: A Venezuelan Phoenix Rises
by Ryan Leeds
There’s plenty of Latin passion beyond Broadway’s On Your Feet! Just head downtown to The Public Theater for an evening with Migguel Anggelo, where Joe’s Pub may have to raise the ceiling in order to contain this larger than life personality.
Anggelo’s show, Another Son of Venezuela, may well be one of the most entertaining and heart-breaking concert acts I’ve ever seen. He began with an energetic, hip-swiveling, original number, “Pop and Mambo,” backed up by fellow immigrant performers, Filipino-born Joanne Jovien, and Michelle Walter from Guatemala. He then talked about the 13-year challenge to obtain his green card before performing the song, “Green,” by his music director Mau Quiros.
Later, Anggelo displayed his uninhibited side with two numbers that he once performed in the streets of Colongne, Germany: “Malambo” and “The Lonely Goatherd.” The latter is a familiar Rodgers and Hammerstein ditty from The Sound of Music, but “Malambo” is a lesser-known entity, originally made popular by Yma Sumac, who possessed an eight-octave range. Anggelo not only did a flawless rendition—he performed it in a red bird costume!
Anggelo continued with a simple and beautiful Spanish interpretation of the Disney classic, “When You Wish upon a Star” and spoke about the difficult relationship he had with his “machismo” father who frowned on Anggelo’s homosexuality. He also discussed the painful experience of watching his father die before his eyes.
It’s hard to musically categorize Anggelo, as he jumps from Mambo to Broadway and even tackles opera with Puccini’s “Nessum Dorma”. George Michael’s “Freedom” and some of Angello’s original compositions were also part of the program. He ended the night with the classic “Cucurrucucu Paloma” by Tomas Mendez.
Anggelo’s vocals are astounding and his style could be compared with Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, and Freddie Mercury. One thing is certain: He was born to be on stage and delivers a performance with incredible honesty, humor, and flair. Along with his magnificent band, Anggelo forces his audiences to think and feel—and ultimately connects with them in a way that leaves an indelible and remarkable imprint.
Another Son of Venezuela
Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street
April 21, doors open at 6 p.m.; show at 7 p.m.
Ryan Leeds is a freelance theater journalist who lives in Manhattan. He is the Chief Theater Critic for Manhattan Digest and a frequent contributor to Dramatics Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Ry_Runner or on Facebook.