Disney's “Coco in Concert” will take place Oct. 6 at...

Disney's “Coco in Concert” will take place Oct. 6 at Madison Theatre and Oct. 9 at Staller Center for the Arts. Credit: Disney/Pixar/Pixar

Yes, there will be mariachis and salsa dancers. But events marking Hispanic Heritage Month on Long Island venture well beyond the expected, from a surrealistic play by a Long Island-raised writer to a concert version of a beloved Disney film.

And let’s not forget an appearance by a cultural icon who celebrates Puerto Rico every chance he gets. That would be Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’ll be at Tilles Center on Sept. 27 to discuss the work that has earned him a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy and Tony Awards with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of “Hamilton: The Revolution” and “In the Heights: Finding Home” with Miranda. Also on hand to perform Miranda’s songs will be Mandy Gonzales and Javier Muñoz, former stars of “Hamilton.” Miranda wasn’t available to discuss the performance, citing the writers’ strike, but his work on behalf of Puerto Rico, where his father was born, is well known. He regularly brings productions of “Hamilton” to San Juan to benefit local charities; proceeds from the Tilles performance will benefit the Miranda Family Fund.

Lin-Manuel Miranda will talk about his career at Tilles Center...

Lin-Manuel Miranda will talk about his career at Tilles Center on Sept. 27.  Credit: Camila Falquez/Netflix Inc.


This is the second year that EastLine Theatre is doing a production to mark Hispanic Heritage Month, which started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. It was expanded to a full month in 1988 (the official dates are Sept. 15-Oct. 15), though on Long Island some events are later in October.

“It’s an opportunity for EastLine to realize its mission to bring theater to a diverse community,” says board member Larry Meneses, a native of Colombia who has worked with several Hispanic groups on Long Island. The goal, he says, is to “showcase Latin achievement in the theatrical world … by looking at playwrights, looking at plays that feature Hispanic actors, looking at things that dramatically pertain to our community.” 

Patchogue’s Fifth Annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration

WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Sept. 16, Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 E. Main St.

INFO Free but reservations required; 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org ($35 VIP balcony tickets which include buffet, discounted drinks and a gift bag are also available at eventbrite.com)

Long Island Latin Music Fest

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Sept. 16, NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd.

INFO $104.50-328.05; 516-247-5200, livenation.com

Lin-Manuel Miranda +Friends

WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Sept. 27, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville

INFO $65-$300; 516-299-3100, tillescenter.org

Coco Live-to-Film Concert

WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Oct. 6, Madison Theatre at Molloy University, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre

INFO $35-$120; 516-323-4444, madisontheatreny.org

WHEN | WHERE 4 p.m. Oct. 9, Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Rd., Stony Brook

INFO $25-$35; 631-632-2787, boxoffice@stallercenter.com

'References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot'

WHEN | WHERE Oct. 21-Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Westbury Arts, 255 Schenck Ave.

INFO $25; eastline.ludus.com

This year’s offering, says Meneses, is particularly intriguing not only in its title, “References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot,” but for its story. The Obie-winning work, which will be presented Oct. 21-Nov. 12 at Westbury Arts, is by Long Island-raised playwright José Rivera. It deals with Iraqi war veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with the allegorical components the writer is known for (characters include a cat, a coyote and the moon).

“It’s very appealing as a piece that represents Latino achievement and aspiration,” says Meneses, noting that Rivera was an Oscar nominee for his “Motorcycle Diaries” screenplay.


For families wanting to celebrate the month, the “Coco, Live to Film” concert will be playing at Madison Theatre in Rockville Centre on Oct. 6 and at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts on Oct. 9. The 2017 Disney Pixar film, about a Mexican boy who dreams of becoming a musician but accidentally finds himself in the Land of the Dead, will be accompanied by the 20-member Orquesta Folclorico Nacional de MexicoCQ. They’ll perform the movie’s soundtrack, including the Oscar-winning song “Remember Me.” 

For fans of music from the Dominican Republic, DJ Adoni and singer-songwriter Ala Jaza are on the program of the Long Island Latin Music Fest at NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Sept. 16. And for dance lovers, Ballet Hispánico, a company that has highlighted Latin dances for more than 50 years, has a concert at Staller Center on Oct. 21. Along with new works, the company will perform its signature “Club Havana,” a vibrant piece that includes conga, rumba mambo and cha-cha.

Now, back to those mariachis and salsa dancers. They’ll all be part of Patchogue’s Fifth Annual Hispanic Celebration at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Sept. 16, along with a popular Latin band, Fiesta Tropical Triple M, and the Sol Y Sombra dance company performing the tango and flamenco. We aim to showcase “the diversity, artistry and tradition that make the Latino culture so vibrant and beloved,” says Emily Alvarado, chair of Latino Leadership Connect, organizers of the event.

Alvarado says the committee works to incorporate many different Spanish cultures into this show, “it’s so much more than salsa.”  Classic dances like the tango attract a wide audience, she says, the “beautiful stye is appreciated by everyone.” And this year, she says they’re ending the show with a mariachi band from Mexico for the first time. “I don’t know anybody,” she says, who doesn’t love a good mariachi band.”

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