ATP PRESS RELEASE, August 21, 2017 , Endorsing Panamá: The Musical

This is an English translation of the official press release from ATP on August 21, 2017 re: Panamá: The Musical

FROM: Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) POSTED: Aug. 21st, 2017

ATP promotes "Panama: The Musical” - a new tourist attraction in English.

“Panama: The Musical" will appeal to tourists from Canada, the United States and Europe–showcase the talents of Panamanian actors, dancers and musicians–and give a little boost to the country’s economy.

It is the first musical about Panama written in English since Cole Porter’s Panama Hattie in 1940 and is being promoted in these international markets with the motto "You haven't seen Panama until you've seen PANAMÁ: THE MUSICAL” and the slogan "PANAMÁ: THE MUSICAL: The Pride of Panama.”

Music from the show was showcased and well received at London’s West New Musical Festival: on August 14, 2017.

The World Premiere is scheduled for February 1, 2018 at the Ateneo Theater in Ciudad del Saber, under the auspices of the Panama Tourism Authority.

The North American Premiere will be in Toronto on November 3, 2018, followed by a National Tour of Canada in the summer of 2019.


Expected tourism benefits are great, including special flight bookings with visitors from Toronto to the world premiere and Panama's tourist promotion in London and Toronto, and across Canada.

Rob Brown, co-writer and co-producer of the play, said: "This is the first commercial musical developed for this English-speaking market in Panama, and we want to show the world all the talents and skills Panama has to offer."

Brown, co-founder of IFF Panama International Film Festival in 2011, praised the world-class quality of Panama's actors, dancers and singers, as good or better than those in New York.

They are seeking out the best in Panama and already have some actors in mind. Auditions will be held in October. Rehearsals begin November 1, 2018.

Brown explained that it is necessary to talk to tourists and visitors in the language they understand, so the work will mainly be in English, but will include 30% of words and phrases in Spanish and added: "there is no language to dance."

Tina Stahl, director of business development, said they participated in Expoturismo 2017 promoting the work to a large selection of travel agencies, tour operators, magazines and local and foreign media.

"We already have 42 confirmed people coming from Canada, plus we have negotiated a special flight deal with Copa Airlines to visit Panama for a week, stay at AC Hotels Marriott and includes tickets for opening night,” he said.


The production is being supported by a world-class creative team, including renowned international music supervisor David Warrack, Brown – an arts marketing expert – and internationally recognized Director/Dramaturge/Teacher Robert McQueen, who was Associate Director of the musical MAMMA MIA on Broadway.

Under the direction of Panamanian Aaron Zebede and a cast of Panamanian artists and musicians, the team will work to bring this "wonderful" script to life, featuring Latino dances, the Charleston and the Foxtrot.

The musical is based on a love story between an American composer and a Panamanian musician and takes place in the Canal Zone and Casco Viejo in 1927.

About the story, co-writer Yolanda van der Kolk-Brown, said: "I feel that many people will relate to the premise of story: everyone - even parents - have their own agenda, but true love is unconditional. Young people should define their ambitions sooner rather than later, or others will choose for them. "

Rob Brown and van der Kolk-Brown, originally from Toronto, have been living in Panama since 2007 and also co-founded The Panama Helpline and PaCT (Panama and Coclé Theater Company), a community theater group based in Coronado.

After 25 years of marriage and almost 5 years of writing together - along with their niece Tara Van Der Kolk (co-writer of music and lyrics), they are excited to begin the production of “PANAMÁ: THE MUSICAL",

The producers believe they have the formula for success for the 34 presentations from February 1 to March 4, 2018, in the Ateneo Theater.

There will be two matinees: one each on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM for those tourists who arrive on cruise ships as those staying in resorts in the interior of the country.