MANUEL VS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, an undocumented musical-comedy

[MUSICAL] Manuel is as American as Taco Salad and student debt, but if he wants to go to college himself he'll have to risk coming out as an undocumented immigrant. That could be extra tricky now that new immigration reform laws require all so-called-illegal immigrants to fight the Statue of Liberty (a genderqueer rock n’ roll version of the American icon) in a real life high stakes boxing match for their...
[MUSICAL] Manuel is as American as Taco Salad and student debt, but if he wants to go to college himself he'll have to risk coming out as an undocumented immigrant. That could be extra tricky now that new immigration reform laws require all so-called-illegal immigrants to fight the Statue of Liberty (a genderqueer rock n’ roll version of the American icon) in a real life high stakes boxing match for their green-cards. Is Manuel brave enough or even crazy enough to take on the two-hundred and twenty-five ton mammoth of copper and steel? This raucous, award-winning, musical comedy leaps from Latin rhythms to rap and hip-hop to glam rock to soaring Broadway ballads as our hero navigates a treacherous world where any stranger could become an enemy, and even baby Jesus can be deported.

"The Statue of Liberty should always be played by a transgendered woman in a sea-foam-green cape and boxing trunks!" - The New York Times

"Brave and ambitious in both form and content! As entertaining as it is enlightening! Davila and de la Puente use an idiosyncratic mix of pop, rock, Latin, and hip-hop to tell their story in a manner reminiscent of Lin-Manuel Miranda." - Theatremania

"Manuel Vs the Statue of Liberty is an essential piece of musical theater that captures lightning in a bottle!"
- Stagebuddy.com

“Manuel versus the Statue of Liberty” remains a scorching critique of immigration policies in the United States and resounding celebration of the human spirit!" - Theatre Reviews Limited

"An emotional sucker punch to the gut!" - NYMF Unauthorized

Music & Lyrics by David Davila
Book & Lyrics by Noemi de la Puente
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MANUEL VS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, an undocumented musical-comedy

Recommended by

  • Nilsa Reyna:
    2 Apr. 2021
    Davila and de la Puente make a great team and create work that's accessible, entertaining, and heartfelt. This musical has a nice blend of earnest and uplifting songs. "Change the Law," "Contender," and The Statue's Torch Song" are some of my favorites. This musical deserves a full production after the pandemic is over!
  • Cheryl Bear:
    2 Apr. 2021
    A moving musical of bravery for the American dream so one can change the world! Fantastic!

Development History

  • Residency
    ,
    Gallery Players, Brooklyn
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    Princeton University
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Princeton University
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Dramatic Question Theatre
    ,
    2016
  • Workshop
    ,
    New York Musical Festival
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    New York Musical Festival
    ,
    2014

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    New York Musical Festival
    ,
    2015

Awards

Finalist
,
Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center
,
Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center
,
2017
Finalist
,
Best Musical
,
New York Musical Festival
,
2015
Winner
,
Social Relevance & Impact Award
,
New York Musical Festival
,
2015
Winner
,
Best New Song to "Contender"
,
New York Musical Festival
,
2015
Winner
,
Best Actress, Shakina Nayfack
,
New York Musical Festival
,
2015
Winner
,
Yip Harburg Award for Lyrics
,
The Yip Harburg Foundation
,
2015
Winner
,
Outstanding Reading Award
,
New York Musical Festival
,
2014