Julio Monge to play Tiresias in “Oedipus El Rey” at the Public Theater

Julio Monge is a Broadway actor, choreographer, and producer with a Puerto Rican heritage. He is known for his work with Jerome Robbins on West Side Story.

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Julio Monge in Oedipus El Rey

Monge plays the blind prophet Tiresias in Oedipus El Rey, Luis Alfaro’s adaptation of Sophocles Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex.

Oedipus El Rey is at the Public Theater in the East Village Tuesday – Sunday, October 3 – November 19, 2017.

Julio Monge at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade

Julio Monge is being recognized as a Trailblazer in the Performing Arts by the National Puerto Rican Day Parade 2017.

We spoke with him at the parade gala.

Why is it an honor to be part of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade?

It is an honor because I am very, very proud of being Puerto Rican. Even after 31 years in New York, it doesn’t leave me. Nor do I want to leave it. It defines a lot of who I am. It’s my foundation. It’s part of what I offer. I’m here celebrating what everybody else in the community offers as well.

It’s a celebration of our achievements. It’s a celebration of our contributions, a reminder that we’ve been here, have paid our dues, and keep working. We are part of the fabric.

What is the best thing about being Puerto Rican?

The love. The love you feel from your people, from your grandmother to your niece, to your neighbors, to your teachers. There’s always that quality that we have. Even though we’ve gotten very fancy and sophisticated lately because of technology and access to a lot of things, there is still that sense of goodness and a big heart that characterizes the people of Puerto Rico.

I’m proud of that.

Julio Monge on West Side Story

West Side Story is a  legendary 1957 Broadway musical about the Puerto Rican community in the neighborhood that was redeveloped into Lincoln Center.

It has music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It’s incredible that these artists who were not Puerto Rican could understand the dreams and challenges of the community, and also that the core of those dreams and challenges remain true over half a century later.

Julio Monge explains Jerome Robbins’ choreography in West Side Story.


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