David Gardos

"Kiss My Aztec" is a hit at La Jolla Playhouse!

Thrilled that “Kiss My Aztec” finally opened at La Jolla Playhouse and that the critics and audience seem to be having a blast! Shout out to my peerless collaborators John Leguizamo, Tony Taccone, and David Kamp. We still run until October 13th, so be sure to check it out if you’re going to be in southern California before then!!


Some review highlights:

San Diego Union-Tribune

“A little like “In the Heights” crashing into “The Book of Mormon” somewhere along “Avenue Q.”

“The show has the vibrant musical diversity (and welcome multi-ethnic mix) of that first show; the R-rated impudence and unfettered showiness of the second; and, along with the buoyant spirit, the fuzzy puppets of the third.”

 “Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do” (one of scads of strong tunes by the gifted young composer Benjamin Velez)

Times of San Diego

“cheeky, salty, irreverent, playfully wicked (even a little scandalous)”

 “The most potent musical numbers bookend the piece and provide the most resonance with today”

“You have to be impressed by the palpable energy and ebullience on display”

Broadway World

“fun folklore fantasy that entertains as it touches upon issues that still resonate today.

 “This musical has a feverish energy, and biting commentary”

 “funny, high energy, bold and brash, deliberately challenging”

 “Music by Benjamin Velez, and lyrics by David Kamp, Velez, and Leguizamo have created genre-hopping song infused with salsa, jazz, hip-hop, and more. It's a fitting mix for a show about forced integration of diametrically opposed forces that the show doesn't fit any one musical style.”

Talkin Broadway

“the best part of the show is the songs. Benjamin Velez's music is a rich mix of styles. The melodies please the ear and energize the action”

"Borderline" featured in The Day - at the O'Neill National Musical Theater Conference

Aryanna and I are so thrilled to be able to workshop “Borderline” at the O’Neill this summer, and had a great feature done about us and the show in the local paper! Check it out on their site HERE.

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Thank you to everyone who made this show possible! Including our fabulous director Jaki Bradley, our incomparable music director David Gardos, our brilliant dramaturg Carrie Chapter, our incredible stage manager Lizzy Lee, and the O’Neill’s Alexander Gemignani and Lexy Leuszler for giving us the opportunity in the first place!

"KISS MY AZTEC" World Premiere Announced for Spring 2019!!

I'm so excited that this musical I've been working on for over 4 years with Book writer John Leguizamo and Co-lyricist David Kamp (previously "Pain In The Aztec") is finally making it to the stage! The incredible Tony Taccone is bringing our musical to Berkeley Repertory Theater for his final season and it's going to be lit! Check out the write up in Playbill and stay tuned for more updates. 

"Pain in the Aztec" first reading!

Excited to share that our first reading of "Pain In the Aztec", produced by the Public Theater, was a success! With Book by John Leguizamo, Music by myself, Benjamin Velez, and Lyrics by John, myself, and David Kamp, this draft has been in development since 2014 and it was wonderful to hear it out loud for the first time!

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Thanks to David Gardos, our incomparable Music Director, and our stellar cast: JOEL PEREZ, CARIDAD DE LA CRUZ, CHAD CARSTARPHEN, JESSE J. PEREZ, ELISEO ROMAN, MARIA ELENA RAMIREZ, SOL MARINA CRESPO, JUSTIN GREGORY LOPEZ, and our fabulous Director Tony Taccone! 

Excited for what's next!

"Prom Was a Promise" performed at the BMI Smoker!

I was honored to have "Prom Was a Promise" featured at the latest BMI Smoker concert November 17th, 2016! Thanks to David Gardos, Emily Kaplan, Joey Goldberg, Molly Heller, and of course Katie Hathaway for bringing it to life!

Check out the video below and listen to the demo along with other songs from Starblasters here.

STAR BLASTERS follows 5 friends in their late twenties who are spending the summer working at the same local theme park where they spent their summers in high school. Neil has just returned to work at the park for the first time since leaving for college and is immediately confronted by his ten-year-old feud with his ex-concessions colleague and former best friend, Freddie. Neil and Freddie were inseparable growing up, but after Senior Prom, the two stopped speaking and haven’t spoken since. What was all the bad blood about? Listen as each shares their side of the story…

AFTERLAND Reading at the York Theater - Directed by Mark Brokaw

We feel incredibly lucky to have had our first NYC reading of AFTERLAND at the York Theater February 11th, 2016. Thank you to everyone at the York for making it possible, thanks to our year-long residency there through the NEO program. 

Check out the cast photo of our INCREDIBLE team, which included:

Director: Mark Brokaw
Music Director: David Gardos
Stage Manager: Sonja Thorson

Christy Altomare, Alex Boniello, Daniel Jenkins, Rebecca Luker, Jacob Ming-Trent,  Alexandra Socha, Alysha Umphress, and Donald Webber Jr. 

We were lucky enough to get a write up in PlayBill and Broadway World!