Americano! takes Scottsdale actor back to 9/11

“Americano!” tells the true story of Phoenix native Tony Valdovinos, a DREAMer brought to America by his parents when he was 2 years old. /Special to the Progress

By Kristine Cannon | Sccottsdale Progress 

Scottsdale native Lucas Coatney’s voice breaks over the phone as he recalls his Sept. 11, 2001 experience.

“I am so sorry,” Coatney said. “I get so emotional because ‘Americano!’ has 9/11 in it and I was actually in New York. Reliving it in the show every night is incredible.”

This is one of the few times Coatney – who plays Joaquin in the musical “Americano!” – has opened up about his Sept. 11 experience, he said.

“[The cab driver] turns the car around, and I had this weird moment where – and I know this is so dramatic – I looked at the sun, and I thought, ‘This is the last time I’ll see the sun.’ And I don’t know why it was so profound and so stuck in my mind,” Coatney recalled. 

“I had never been so scared,” he added.

While it still feels raw for Coatney to talk about that day.

He said it’s just one of many reasons he was drawn to “Americano!”, a musical written by Jonathan Rosenberg and Michael Barnard, producing artistic director of the Phoenix Theatre Company.

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