Migguel Anggelo brings "LatinXoxo" to Stanford

  • by Laura Moreno
  • Tuesday April 25, 2023
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Migguel Anggelo at a recent Joe's Pub concert in New York City (photo: David Andrako)
Migguel Anggelo at a recent Joe's Pub concert in New York City (photo: David Andrako)

The Public Theater's highly acclaimed Under the Radar features multi-talented singer, actor, author, painter, costume designer and all-around Renaissance man Migguel Anggelo. The larger than life Venezuelan-born creative genius has put together a show called "LatinXoxo" that is an "outrageously queer concert experience."

Performed in English and Spanish, the show explores the intersections of his queer, Latino and immigrant identities through original and reinterpreted music, dance, and theater. Anggelo will perform May 5 and 6 at Stanford Live @ The Studio.

Migguel Anggelo at his Joe's Pub concert in New York City (photo: David Andrako)  

A highlight for audiences is Migguel Anggelo's incredibly good voice. The traditional Spanish apparel he dons, both men's and women's, is another highlight. The clothes are perfectly, beautifully gay with ruffles, tight matador pants and sexy bullfighter's shoes (like ballet shoes, often with bright pink stockings). The symbolism is rich.

"Spanish boleros, comedy, and pop songs to subvert Latin-lover tropes and his own father's machismo," is how the The New Yorker describes it.

The show touches on every human emotion, including a very serious scene that actually happened, against all odds, in real life to his father right in front of his eyes.

Next, Anggelo is developing "English with an Accent," a hybrid dance-theater work of original music. With echoes of Federico Garcia Lorca, it explores self-realization through the eyes of an anthropomorphized, immigrant caterpillar.

So, why are there extra Gs in his name? He says it's because the "G" stands for gay and he's double gay! Anggelo shared more in his interview with the Bay Area Reporter.

Laura Moreno: I was so thrilled to discover your music, which includes oldies like the 1928 son song, "Lagrimas Negras." How do you describe your music?
Migguel Anggelo: My music is a mix of different rhythms and genres; music of the world that include pop and opera as well as the Spanish boleros that my father sang to my mother when I was growing up. I am equally in love with Bjork, Bizet, and Simón Diaz, and these kinds of varied influences get mashed together to create an unexpected fusion on the stage.

One unusual thing I love about LatinX young people is that they truly adore and continue to play the music of previous generations. Why do you think that is?
The music I grew up listening to in Venezuela is so full of poetry and the tunes are so, so good. This is real music, and I believe that LatinX young people feel the history or our heritage in this poetry. How could they not be moved by it?

Did you experience bullying when you were younger? What advice do you have for young people who are going through problems like that?
Of course. I was bullied a lot because of my sexuality. I was a feminine child and used to be made fun of all the time. I was never afraid to confront these people, though. In fact, one neighbor used to taunt me all the time, calling me "little faggot" on a daily basis. It was really upsetting, but I did stand up to him.

When his mother marched him to our door after our "fight," I thought I would be in big trouble (for what I did to stand up to him), but to my surprise, he apologized. We remain friendly to this day, despite getting off to a wrong start.

My advice: Look deep within and know you have value. Summon that inner strength and talk to someone about what you are going through, even if it's embarrassing. Your parents, your best friend, your teachers; someone will listen and give you the strength to stand up and say, "Enough."

One reason your shows are so powerful is because you are full of love and authenticity. Many of the gay South American artists I've met are also full of positivity and love. Why do you think that is? Is that love rooted in spirituality? What is your spirituality?
Thank you for your feedback. If my shows are powerful, I guess it's because honesty is powerful. That's so important in any kind of art making, and something I and my team strive for.

I have always been super spiritual, but I don't believe in religion. I pray to angels and to a God and a Virgin that make me strong. That comes from heritage, but it's more about summoning strength for me than it is about religion. If I was pushed to name my spirituality, though, it would definitely be called love. A little more love would go a long way in this world. That's what I believe in.

Who would you most like to collaborate with? Do you think you can maybe bring LGBTQ band Mecano from Spain out of retirement? I love them too!
Mecano is the main reason I became a songwriter. Specifically, the lyrics from Jose Maria Cano are incredible. It would be a dream if they would go back on tour after so many years.

I would love to do a collaboration with Jose Maria Cano, of course, Franco de Vita, Rosalia, Lady Gaga, and The Weeknd. Let's do it!

Migguel Anggelo at Stanford Live @ The Studio, May 5 & 6, $15-$50. 327 Lasuen Street, Stanford www.migguelanggelo.com|

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