Novelas are ingrained in Latinx culture and now we’re getting an audio telenovela so you can enjoy the drama while on your commute or during your Sunday morning cleaning sesh. Princess of South Beach is a 36-part modern audio telenovela series available in both English and Spanish starring West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler. The series follows the lives of twin sisters María del Carmen and Gloria Calderón (both voiced by Zelger), who are separated at birth and lead completely different lives. One grows up as a naive orphan in a convent, the other as a privileged supermodel and socialite living in Miami Beach. Sheryl Rubio of La Casa De Las Flores voices the twins in the Spanish-language cast, which is completely different than the English-language cast. The star-studded English cast also includes Gina Torres (Suits) as Luisa Calderón, Ivonne Coll (Jane the Virgin) as Hermana Claudia, and comedian X Mayo as Estrella. The show comes from iHeartMedia and Sonoro, which is focused on developing audio content in English, Spanish, and Spanglish.
“The Princess of South Beach is the realization of my ‘Guilty Pleasure Dream Come True’!! I grew up watching nighttime soaps and telenovelas with my mother. So I jumped at the chance to play the over the top matriarch of the Calderon family, Luisa,” Torres tells HipLatina. “Along with an amazing cast of Latinx actors, we will take you on an unforgettable ride of scandal, intrigue, romance and plenty of humor.”
The show premiered Oct. 4 and is dropping new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, totally leaning into the notorious drama and cliffhangers that are a sIgnature part of telenovelas. Among the cast members in the English cast, Coll is no stranger to telenovelas having portrayed Alba Villanueva, Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) abuela in the series that also embraced the telenovela style. This is also another major project for 20-year-old rising star Zegler, who is of Colombian descent, and will be the star in the upcoming remake of West Side Story as well as the live-action Snow White. The rest of the English cast includes Raul Esparza (Law & Order: SVU) as Esteban Calderón, Danny Pino (Law & Order: SVU, Mayans M.C.) as Nacho Santana, and Andy Bustillos (Wedding Season, Most likely to Murder) as Raul Santana.
Both X Mayo and Torres are Afro-Latinas, Blackxican and Cuban respectively, so we love seeing the diverse representation which is still so needed. “Telenovelas are wild, ratchet, insane…and so is this family! I’m proud to be a part of @sonoropodcast #PrincessOfSouthBeach a new podcast series that reinvents telenovelas. Im so ready for y’all to meet my character ‘ESTRELLA.’ She a maid, but don’t know how to clean. Uh huh…a damn mess… THE CAST IS STACKED! What an honor to play with thee damn ICON herself @rachelzegler A joy working with you,” X Mayo wrote in a caption on Instagram.