By Kenneth Jones

The music of old Havana resurfaces in a new Off Broadway musical, Havana Under the Sea, which offers an English-language libretto and classic Cuban songs in Spanish, opening March 11 following previews from Feb. 28 at the INTAR Theatre.

Written by Abilio Estevez and translated and adapted in English by Caridad Svich, Havana Under the Sea stars Doreen Montalvo and Meme Sols. Montalvo plays, among other characters, the central role of Cecilia, the ghost of an aristocratic lady condemned to wander for eternity among the sunken ruins of Havana.

“Her bittersweet memories come alive when she sings to celebrate the former glory of her city,” according to the announcement of the show. “Havana Under the Sea uses the myth of Atlantis as a metaphor for the current physical and spiritual decay of Cuba and the world at large.”

Sols is the musical director of this production, playing piano and singing. INTAR Theatre artistic director Max Ferr helms the production.

Montalvo was most recently seen in the title role in La Lupe, My Life, My Destiny at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and is currently in the workshop of the musical, In The Heights, at the Arthur Seelen Theatre. A veteran of musical theatre, Montalvo has toured the country and starred in regional productions of West Side Story, Man of La Mancha, Nunsense and Sweet Charity.

Cuban-born Sols is a prolific composer and arranger who founded the Meme Sols Quartet and has recorded eight LPs and staged many musical revues for theatres, clubs and TV. In what might have been his most prolific years, according to production notes, Sols ran afoul of the Cuban government and was forced to disband the quartet and denied the right to record or perform in public for 18 years. He was later allowed to immigrate to Spain before immigrating to Miami. His newest album, “A Solas Contigo,” has enjoyed success throughout the U.S. and Latin America. This is his third production with INTAR, after Nostalgia Tropical and Cuba Libre.

Havana Under the Sea designers are Van Santvoord (set), Willa Kim (costume), Ed McCarthy (lighting) and David M. Lawson (sound).