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Singer, songwriter and performance artist Migguel Anggelo brings his one-man show, "So Close: Love & Hate," to the Detroit Institute of Arts Friday evening. The writer plays regularly at Joe's Pub at New York's Public Theater, and with "So Close" has compiled a "journey" of 13 songs -- mostly his own, but with American and Latin classics as well. 

The Detroit News caught up with the 44-year-old after a rehearsal to talk songwriting, what he loves about Detroit, and the chaos that's overtaken Venezuela, the country of his birth: 

Tell me about "So Close: Love & Hate." 

Anggelo: "So I wrote all these songs about love and hate, and we put them together in a journey to take audiences on. For me, love and hate are like two sisters – they walk together. They are very close. But you have a choice which one you embrace."

Is it all just singing?

"It’s performance art. It’s music and a lot of dancing. I change my costume seven times. It's very theatrical. I become characters in the show, but it’s all a surprise. People are going to be like, ‘Whoa! What is this?’ " 

How old are you?

I'm 44, but I look 35. It's the Nivea. 

Is all your work focused on one-man shows? 

No. I just finished writing two musicals, and my first book -- 'Next Year Is Going to Come,' which I've been working on five years. It’s a novel about a really, really rich girl who’s very, very sick."

I hear the State Department sent you last winter to perform in Russia? 

"Yes. The show was 'The Songbooks of the Americas.' The State Department had the idea of mixing the Latin and American musical songbooks. The only real difference was the language. They're both so poetic, whether Spanish or English."

When did you start performing?

"When I was 13. I auditioned in Venezuela for 'Pinocchio.' They wanted a girl to play the title role, and I actually tried out for a different part. But after auditioning 300 girls, the director told me that I'd be much better as Pinocchio. I said, 'But I can’t sing!' And they said, ‘Oh, we’ll give you classes.’ Which they did."

Where did you grow up?

"In Valencia. It's sort of the Detroit of Venezuela -- an industrial city, where all the car companies were."

Where do you live now?

"In Brooklyn Heights, New York."

Do you like it?

"I love New York, but I really love Brooklyn. Unfortunately, all the old celebrities are moving out here. I say, 'Go back to Manhattan!' "

When was the last time you were back in Venezuela?

"In 2008. My twin sister and I went to the beach and got robbed. They also cut my leg. I told my mother, 'I love you and my country deeply. But I cannot live here.'"

Venezuela's going through a severe economic crisis. How bad are things?

"It’s ridiculous. I send my mother and my older brother food every month. I send it via a private company that's paid off the army guys from the government. That's the only reason they get the food." 

Have you been to Detroit before? 

"Yes. I love Detroit. I love how Detroiters will stand there and fight to fix it and show America how strong they are. And of course, I love the architecture. I love the Michigan Central Station and the Michigan Theatre. And naturally, I love the DIA." 

mhodges@detroitnews.com 

(313) 222-6021

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

 

Migguel Anggelo: 'So Close: Love & Hate' 

7:30 p.m. Friday 

Detroit Film Theatre

Detroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward, Detroit 

Free with museum admission (waived for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb residents)

(313) 833-7900

dia.org 

 


 

 

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