(CBS) — A new production at the Goodman Theatre documents the very real story of a beauty pageant held in a Colombian women’s prison.
It takes music to bring it to life and CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole sat down with the South American rock star who made it all happen.
The beat echoing through the Goodman Theatre is distinctly Colombian with a rock twist. It underscores Goodman’s latest production “Another Word for Beauty,” the tale of an annual pageant held in a Colombian women’s prison.
The man composing the music, Hector Buitrago, is one of Colombia’s biggest rock stars. He’s won three Grammys with his band Aterciopelados, musicians known as much for their commitment to social causes as they are for music.
“I was very passionate because I like the stories of the women,” Buitrago said.
The play is based in reality, and the yearly beauty pageant held at Colombia’s Buen Pastor Prison. The gritty details of the women’s backstories matched well with Buitrago’s artistic mission.
“We talk about the social issues in Colombia,” he said.
The music, called Rock En Espanol, is a mix of diverse influences, from punk to traditional Colombian and even techno 90s rhythms.
For this international staging, Buitrago composed the themes a continent away from the production’s Music director.
In the end the sounds help audiences better understand a culture where incarcerated women look to a pageant for hope and self-esteem.
Buitrago spent three years composing the music, working in Bogota, sending his work to Chicago where the musical director finessed the orchestrations. Another Word for Beauty runs through February 21 at The Goodman Theatre.