Chico and Rita: A Cuban Love Story Set to Mambo

An unusual animated film with a great story and musical backdrop is coming to the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles in March, running March 9th-15th.   It is a love story set in 1940s Cuba and New York during the heyday of the mambo.  The story is loosely based on Bebo Valdes,  patriarch of a great family of Cuban pianists (Chucho is the son, Chuchito the grandson);  Bebo was the pianist and music director of Havana’s most famous mambo club, the Tropicana.  The film charts the trajectory of both the smitten lovers as well as the pianist’s move to New York City to work with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parket to create a new music called “Cubop” (bebop+cuban=cubop).  The love story continues in Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Paris.    The film is sexy (nudity in intimate scenes), has great animation, and makes you laugh and cry with sadness and joy.   It was produced by Fernando Trueba, who did a great film documentary called Calle 54 about latin music.

It’s a very unusual and heartwarming film.  And the music will make you want to dance salsa,  explore mambo, or just take dance lessons.  Highly recommended!!!