Andrew Lloyd Webber and Antonio Banderas are teaming up to create joint production company Amigos Para Siempre (APS), aimed at producing musicals, stage plays and live entertainment for major markets in the Spanish-speaking world, including the Latino U.S. market.
Upcoming productions will include Spanish-language makeovers of Lloyd Webber classics, such as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Starlight Express,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cinderella,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “School of Rock.”
Spanish-language adaptation rights to these works will be ceded to the new joint venture by Lloyd Webber’s company, Really Useful Group.
APS will also license third-party works, as well as develop and produce original shows for the Spanish-speaking market, the biggest easily accessible non-English-language market in the world, whose theater and musical scene is experiencing robust growth.
The joint venture will be overseen by Emanuel Nuñez, CEO of the NuCO Media Group, who has a deep knowledge of the Spanish-world entertainment scene, and Jessica Koravos, president of Really Useful Group.
“Antonio Banderas not only forms part of entertainment royalty but is also one of the most versatile creative minds with whom I’ve have the pleasure of working,” Lloyd Webber said.
He added: “It’s really moving to associate with Antonio to present my work, as well as other brilliant Broadway and West End titles, in new markets. Though millions of people in all of the Spanish-speaking world already love our shows and music, there’s an extraordinary appetite to receive more and the levels musical and stage play talent is extraordinary. I can’t wait to work with Antonio to bring to the world Spanish-language productions of exceptional quality.”
Banderas added: “I had the great privilege of working hand-in-hand with Andrew during the recording and shoot of the famous musical ‘Evita’ in 1996. But it’s when I saw ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ during the first part of the ‘70s that I really got hooked on the music, theater and fabulous talent of Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
He continued: “It wouldn’t be wrong to say that I became an actor because of the enormous influence and strong impact that I felt watching Andrew’s musicals. To have the opportunity of working again with one of the most respected and admired composers of all time, offering his magnificent works to a Spanish-language public, is one of the most outstanding achievements of my show business career.”
Banderas first caught attention acting in a small theater company in his native Málaga, southern Spain, before moving to Madrid and working at its National Theater, where he impressed Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar.
Settling in Europe in recent years, he has returned to his roots, pouring many of his energies into founding the Teatro del Soho CaixaBank, based in Málaga and inaugurated in 2019 with “A Chorus Line,” which he directed and starred in.
He recently repeated both roles in “Company,” the first ever Spanish-language adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth classic. Argentina’s Ricardo Darín (“The Secret in Their Eyes”) starred this May in a Spanish-language version of Ingmar Bergman’s “Scenes From a Marriage,” staged at the Teatro del Soho which also hosted in 2021 arguably one of the most successful Spanish Academy Goya Awards ceremonies in history.
Now Banderas would like to take some of this live entertainment experience to the still under-served Spanish-speaking world.