Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

(Note: This is a show-within-a-show. The majority of songs mentioned in the Synopsis are part of the live "performance.")

Act One

José Cubano, José Domincano, José Mexicano and José Boricua met in Burrito World in Nebraska. They decided that, since they each love to sing and dance so much, they should put on a show of the golden oldies that they learned from their parents. The local Veterans' Hall is thus transformed into a tropical paradise.

The 4 Guys introduce themselves and their onstage band, El Trio los Omahaenos ("Feel It"). Next, the performers begin "María Bonita" to commence the entrance of their fifth performer, María, but she doesn't arrive. The men panic until they hear activity offstage. They again prepare for María's entrance. She arrives but she is the wrong María.

This María begins her wild story: the original María, her roommate, could not make the show, so this María has taken her place... but her boyfriend dumped her that day, so she's a mess. With "Piensa en Mi" and "Perfidia," she culls sympathy from the audience and the Guys about her broken heart. José Cubano, however, scolds them. They are not following what has been scripted for the show. They shoo María offstage so that she can get into costume.

When María returns, José Cubano gives María cue cards to keep her on track. She does not want to follow them. José Cubano gently guides her back to the script, and they delve into the "Here and Now Medley," featuring performances of: "I Make My Money with Banana" (à la Carmen Miranda); "La Bamba" (à la Ritchie Valens); "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" (à la Selena); "Bailamos" (à la Enrique Iglesias) "Livin' la Vida Loca" (à la Ricky Martin); and "Macarena."

With "Oiga Usted," the company gives the history of Latin music and prepares the audience to hear lyrics in both Spanish and English. This leads into "Frenesi," a song about passionate love. They fall into a Spanish lesson game with the audience through "Burundanga" and "Corazon de Melon."

Next, the Guys give a lesson to the audience in Latin Dance, which begins with "Cumbia" and goes into a Cuban Conga, a Merengue of Santo Domingo and "Salsa." María suddenly jumps in, but the men have not rehearsed a dance number with this María. Eventually, they permit her to join them in "Mambo Fuego." Something about her dancing entrances the men. They are all smitten with her ("La Mulatas del Cha Cha Cha"). Now a competition for María's affections has began.

María is cast as the muse. She begins "Amore" and is soon serenaded by the Guys with "Te Quiero Digiste." After "Besame Mucho," María expresses her distaste of romance, which leads to the men wooing her with "Quien Sera" and "Quizas Quisa." María has had enough. She sings "Es Mentiroso," thus enforcing her cynicism of love and romance.

Act Two

At opening, María is dressed as a traditional peanut vendor. The Guys join her in "La Manisera." Changing tone, the company performs the traditional Puerto Rican plena with "Muchachita Borincana," featuring María as a Puerto Rican girl leaving New York. José Boricua tells the audience of his family's immigrant history and sings "En Mi Viejo San Juan" with the others. José Cubano, José Mexicano and José Dominicano also tell about their homelands with "Veracruz," "Nostalgia Habanera" and "Mi Tierra."

María then goes off-script for a third time to wonder aloud if the man who just dumped her still thinks of her fondly. The Guys quickly get her back on track with "Rhythm Divine." The men then fight over María's attention, beginning with "Buche y Pluma" and transitioning into the María Medley: "María Bonita," "María Elena," "María la O" and "123 María." Each Guy is convinced that María carries his particular Latin heritage. María, however, reveals the truth – she is from L.A. One by one, each José tells the truth of his origin as well.

The Guys then ask María to make a choice between them. To their great surprise, she chooses the band's piano man – José de Nebraska! María again sings "Piensa en Mi" and "Gracias la Vida" in celebration. The Guys, having squelched their jealousy, perform three group numbers toclose the show: "La Murga," "Bang Bang / Oye Como Ya" and "I Like It Like That."