Panama the Musical to Open Feb. 1

Take a trip back in time to Panama in the roaring twenties, with PANAMA: THE MUSICAL, a musical about Panama performed in English. The show will premier in Panama City February 1st, 2018 at Teatro Ateneo in the City of Knowledge.

 Co-writers Rob Brown and Yolanda van der Kolk-Brown dual Panamanian/Canadian citizen and residents of the Pacific beach community have a deep connection to Panama and musical theatre. The third Co-writer of PANAMA: THE MUSICAL is Tara van der Kolk, this will be her debut as a musical composer. 

Rob, Yolanda, and Tara have worked with an all-star team of Panamanian and International talents to bring together what is expected to be a thrilling theatrical experience.  While the musical is primarily performed in English, Rob tells us PANAMA: THE MUSICAL incorporates lots of words and phrases in Spanish. 

Playwright Robert McQueen, the Dramaturge/theatrical consultant for PANAMA: THE MUSICAL. McQueen was the Associate Director of the musical MAMMA MIA on Broadway. Under the direction of the Panamanian Monalisa Arias, the maestro Dino Nugent in the musical direction and the recognized international music supervisor, David Warrack a cast of Panamanian and International artists and musicians, will perform a fusion of Latin dances, the Charleston and the Foxtrot. ’

With the Americans entering Panama and building the Panama Canal, American influences began to flow into the country affecting the fashion and music industry. While American trends broke through the Latin identity remained. The product is a unique blend of cultures, music, and nightlife that the music reflects. 

With the introduction of the radio, doors began to open offering access to the entertainment industry for regular people. People like Melody Luna, PANAMA: THE MUSICAL’s leading lady.  

Like any great story, at the heart of  PANAMA: THE MUSICAL’s is a love story. Melody is American songwriter in love with a Panamanian musician. The couple dreams of writing and singing songs for the radio, something totally new at that time, says Alexandra Córdoba, who plays Melody. “They have the opportunity to make this dream come true, but at the same time, they have to part ways”, adds the actress, without wanting to reveal much about the plot. 

Melody is in a dilemma, she must decide if she will continue fighting for her dreams with Tito or if she leaves behind that path for the good of her family. 

Join Melody and the entire cast of PANAMA: THE MUSICAL including Panamanian stars such as Gaby Gnazzo, Randy Dominguez, and Leonte Bordanea, from February 1st until March 4th. PANAMA: THE MUSICAL is sure to be a wild ride offering, Panamanian flavor, and Broadway talent. 

Buy your tickets now, before the show sells out, here.


Yolanda van der Kolk-Brown 
Co-writer and composer. 

With 25 Years as a photographer, Yolanda studied art and photography at OCA and Ryerson in Toronto. She is a prominent photographer in the fields of fashion, beauty and corporate. She is also a painter, graphic artist singer, writer and the Co-founder The PANAMA Helpline. 

T. Rob Brown 
Co-writer, executive producer and general manager. 

He has dedicated the last 35 years to the arts market through his company Arts Marketing Services He has been a travel columnist, has written a blog about retirees,, five plays, a screenplay, four murder-mystery musicals and is founder of the International Film Festival of Panama He is also the artistic director of PaCT - Panama and Coclé Theater. 

Tara Van der Kolk 

Singer, composer, a graduate of The Rosedale Performing Arts School in Toronto. Although she has participated in musical productions, it is her debut as a composer. 

David Warrack 
Co-producer, music supervisor.
He is the most produced musical writer in Canada with more than 70 musicals to his credit, including some of the works’ longest on stage in his country. 

Robert McQueen 

Director, playwright, and teacher, he has worked in the United States, Canada, and other countries. On Broadway, he was an associate director of MAMMA MIA and directed the theater companies responsible for the show for the national tour in the United States, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. 

Monalisa Arias 

In Panama, she recently directed Cats and Seussical The Musical for the United States Embassy in Panama. She is the artistic director of The Space, alternative cultural center. She received her training at The London Drama Academy, The College of William and Mary, The Society of American Fight Directors and The Center for Movement Theater. 

Dino Nugent 
Musical director.

The orchestra conductor and professor at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura He and participated as pianist, arranger, and co-producer of ’La Rosa de los vientos’, winner of the grammy of singer-songwriter Rubén Blades. 

Rigoberto Rodríguez 

He has done choreographic works for national and international artists. Since 1997 he has been the choreographer of the Telethon 20-23 as well as other national projects such as Señorita Panama, Singing for a Dream, Dancing for a Dream, and the Reversal Gala of the Canal. 


Alexandra Córdoba - Melody 
Gaby Gnazzo - Mama 
Yael Danon - Harmony 
Julio Barsallo - Tito 
Juan Caballero - Radio Cassanova 
Randy Dominguez - Eddie Machete 
Leonte Bordanea - Detective Lorenzo 
Emely Myles - Yavida 
Henry Twohy - RCA Bossman 
Raquel de la Guardia - Swing roles 
Diego Malek - Police Captain/Swing Roles