By staff writer
The longstanding battle between Bacardi and Pernod Ricard over the hearts and minds of Havana Club rum lovers has extended to a new front — the theatrical stage. “The Amparo Experience,” depicting the saga of pre-revolutionary Cuba and the story of the Arechabala family, Havana Club’s founders, is intriguing audiences across South Florida.
The company is hoping the immersive theatrical production, which tells the story of its Havana Club Rum, will blaze a path to Broadway after its two-month debut run.
It has an intriguing and colorful story to tell. At the start of the 1960s, the Arechabalas watched as their thriving rum business was seized at gunpoint and without compensation by the government of Fidel Castro. Some of the family was thrown into jail, while others escaped to Miami. Included in the loot: the Havana Club recipe.
In the 1990s, the Cuban government partnered with French company Pernod Ricard to sell their Havana Club across the world, while the Arechabala Family fought back by joining forces with another Cuban family in exile, Bacardi, which began producing rum that was also based on the original recipe.
With the play, Bacardi aims to tell that story while strengthening its grip over the Havana Club name and driving interest in the product’s Cuban heritage. Although the company hopes to eventually take the play to other sites around the nation, it is proud to introduce it in Miami, company executives said.
“Miami keeps us connected to our Latin roots,” said Pete Carr, regional president, North America. “It has been a part of our history since 1964,” he explained, adding that Bacardi’s story really began in Santiago de Cuba in 1862.
“As a Latin company, Miami keeps us connected to our Latin roots. The city is also a short flight to our global headquarters in Bermuda and to our rum distillery in Puerto Rico.”
Bacardi became interested in putting on a play after considering different options to publicize the product’s interesting tale. The production also fits well into Bacardi’s “Forever Cuban” campaign, which focuses on the company’s history and tradition.
Of course, they hope it will spur further interest in Havana Club and the company’s other products. “We’re seeing more people having cocktails at home, so their interest in the mixology, provenance and ingredients is growing,” said Carr. “When you have 157 years of stories to share, and are the world’s most-awarded rum, this trend allows us to connect even more with consumers.”
“Amparo” will run in South Florida through June 1.
What, Where and When:
What: “The Amparo Experience” by Vanessa Garcia.
Where: 221 NE 17th St., Miami.
When: Thursday-Saturday (7 and 10 p.m.). Sunday (3:30 & 6:30 PM).
Through May 31 st.
Cost: $79 (21 or older).
Information: 877-542-8262 or www.theamparoexperience.com.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.bacardi.com/