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Rome Reports

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Musical Depicts the Life of John Paul II

For several months now, an  Italian production company has been adding finishing touches on a grand musical  production on the life of Karol Wojtyla. Spanish journalist  Paloma Gómez Borrero is a content adviser.

PALOMA Gí?MEZ BORRERO Musical Adviser "They called me because they read the books I wrote on John Paul II. They also found out I had gone on several of his trips, and that I felt great admiration and affection for the Pope. So then, they asked me to read a script, and above all, to give them insight that they could incorporate into the musical.â?

Using the latest technical advancements, music composed by signer Noa, and the experience of those who knew John Paul II best, the show spans the life of Karol Wojtyla, from his childhood to his election as Pope. Castings took place in several countries, and revealed some surprises, like singer Ashai Lombardo.

PALOMA Gí?MEZ BORRERO Musical Adviser "She left casting directors in shock saying, 'What a shame that there was no young Black woman in the early life of John Paul II!' But then, when the director saw the singer, he said, 'But we have Our Lady of Chestochowa, the Black Madonna.' So I think they will rework part of the musical to feature the Madonna of Chestochowa.â?

Mauro Cicuta, the director and producer, took on the project after assessing the impact the Polish Pope had on him. But within the musical, he refused to have any actor personify John Paul II, which is why the story ends with his election as Supreme Pontiff.   PALOMA Gí?MEZ BORRERO Musical Adviser "The beautiful thing about this musical is that we will continue to cherish that image of John Paul II without anyone saying, 'Look, he doesn't look like him, or he does look like him.'â?

The premiere for the musical is set for December 8th in Rome, coinciding with the year he is expected to be canonized. The show will also tour Latin America.

AC/RCarr MG VM - PR -Up:KLH