Meriden business has key role in upcoming gala in Hartford

HARTFORD – The Hispanic Health Council’s annual gala on Oct. 1 at the City of Hartford Atrium will feature “Broadway Comes To Connecticut,” a dinner show that will take place during the event.

The gala will take place from 7 to 10 pm with the purpose of raising funds for programming, including a potential wellness center. Although planning for the wellness center is in its initial stages, the idea is for it to incorporate a mix of sciences and arts.

Employees from a local business will provide lighting for the gala.

Freddy Ramirez is the executive producer and director of the artistic part of the gala. When he was asked by the Hispanic Health Council to take on the role, Ramirez immediately thought about doing something different, he said.

Galas are mainly about eating, listening to speakers and awards, he said, but Ramirez wanted people to also have fun at the event, so he suggested incorporating a musical.

The show

“Broadway Comes To Connecticut” is inspired by “West Side Story” – a play and movie that explores rivalry between teenage gangs and love. Ramirez said that all of the music at the gala will be from “West Side Story.” The musical will be interactive and throughout the show there will be pop-up scenes that will catch attendees by surprise.

Producers and performers

According to Ramirez, many of the dancers are from Broadway or from the 2021 West Side Story film. All of the members of the production, including performers, are Latino. Dancers from Connecticut and Massachusetts will also perform at the event. Emilee Barela and John Ververis will be in charge of the live singing during the event. Ana Isabel Acevedo Avilés, the actress, singer and dancer who starred as Rosalia in the West Side Story film, will also take part in the gala. During the event, she will also receive an award.

Lighting and music

Ramirez said the event will include more than 150 lighting effects. Angel De Paz, who manages the Silver City Ballroom on Colony Street in Meriden, will be in charge of lighting at the gala. De Paz, who is from Meriden, and his team will install LED uplighting, which will give color to the interior walls of the building to change the ambiance of the space.

“We’re very excited,” De Paz said.

He mentioned that the event is an opportunity he and his team have been waiting for to showcase their talents and skills. De Paz will also be handling the set up of speakers and background music.

To purchase tickets, please visit

[email protected]: @KarlaSantosNews

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