Actress Janet Dacal leads The Band’s Visit at The Bushnell

In 2016, when Goodspeed Musicals sponsored a gala in honor of the extraordinary actress Chita Rivera, I had the opportunity to meet Janet Dacal, who was one of the lead actors in the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” being produced at Goodspeed.

As luck would have it, Janet and I sat next to each other. Right away we started shifting between English to Spanish. She asked, “Are you Cuban?” My accent gave me away. A few minutes later she was inviting me to join her when she cooked “arroz con pollo” for the cast of “Birdie.” Getting the cast together on their day off, and cooking for them is something she finds relaxing and very enjoyable. 

At the gala, the moment when Janet was scheduled to go on stage the laid-back and friendly actress transformed into  Rosie. She was to perform “Spanish Rose,” a sultry musical number from “Birdie” made famous by Chita Rivera, in the original Broadway production, and who was sitting right in front of the stage. 

Since making her Broadway debut in 2004 in “Good Vibrations,” Janet’s career has kept her very busy. She has recorded a song featured in the movie “Exposed” starring Keanu Reaves; played Carla, in the original cast of Lyn-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” for which she received the Drama Desk Award in 2007, and was also in the TV series “White Collar.”  She has also performed in “Wonderland,” (2011),  Bye Bye Birdie (2016) “Prince of Broadway” (2017-2020), and “Viva Broadway. Hear Our Voices.” celebrating Latino heritage.

The Band’s Visit will be presented at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, from November 16 to 21. For ticket information call 860-987-5900 or visit their website: 

Read the full story at CT Latino News –



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