Parents' Guide to

Celia

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Queen of Salsa-inspired drama has coarse language, raciness.

TV Peacock Drama 2015
Celia TV show poster: Aymeé Nuviola dressed as Celia against purple background with name in Neon lights.

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The Spanish-language, 80-episode telenovela mixes drama, a bit of humor, and great musical performances to create a colorful story based on Celia Cruz's life. The narrative is told with the help of flashbacks that recreate Cruz's journey from her early years in Cuba as a young guaracha singer, but brings audiences back to her later years as an international performer (played Aymeé Nuviola) with husband and manager Pedro Knight (Modesto Lacén/Willie Denton). Throughout it all, Celia highlights how Cruz broke racial barriers in pre-Castro Cuba by playing at high-end clubs like The Tropicana, and honored Cuba's Black heritage by yelling ¡azucar! (sugar) during her performances. But Celia is ultimately a work of fiction, and includes characters like jealous half-sister Noris Alfonso (Aída Bossa), who "passes" as White, and lots of soap opera-like plot lines that range from interesting to over-the-top. Meanwhile, those unfamiliar with Cuban culture may be confused by some of what is featured here. Nonetheless, if you're a Celia Cruz fan, it's easy to get caught up in the story world. If you like salsa music, it'll be easy to dance to it too.

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