Bronx brothers perform in Runaways at New York City Center

Bronx brothers perform in Runaways at New York City Center
Max (left) and Kenny (right) with their brother Daniel Estrella (center)
Photo Courtesy of Maria Matos

Bronx residents Max and Kenny Cabral enjoy singing, dancing and acting. However, the two brothers don’t perform their talents simply to entertain an on-looking crowd.

Kenny and Max “want to change the world.”

The Cabral brothers, residents of Wakefield, got into performing at a very young age as their older brother, Daniel Estrella, was acting and learning the art at the Rosie’s Theater Kids performing arts school.

“When I was younger I would listen to alot of music and my older brother was in Rosie’s so I was influenced by him to become an actor, dancer and singer” said Kenny, 12.

“I danced a lot at all the parties and family gatherings,” said Max, 14. “They’d be like, ‘Hey where’s Maxwell,’ because I would always dance because I just liked doing it.”

Max said that since he was happy he “always liked making people happy and putting smiles on people’s faces.”

He also said with his older brother in RT Kids, it “really helped influence” him to say “this is what I want to do.”

Estrella, 23, is now a part of the musical theatre department at the University of Michigan.

Lori Klinger, co founder of Rosie’s Theater Kids with Rosie O’Donnell, was very proud of the boys.

Like their big brother both boys now attend the school.

“There can’t be talent without nurturing,” said Klinger. “They bring the talent and we nurture and that’s our job.”

Although both brothers love performing, being on stage is about much more.

“I want to change the world which is what our generation is supposed to do” said Max, who will be attending the Professional Performing Arts School in the fall.

Kenny said he hopes to change people’s thinking on subjects that aren’t commonly discussed.

He pointed to the play ‘Runaways,’ which the two performed in at the New York City Center from July 6 to July 9.

Elizabeth Swados created the play in 1977 after studying the lives of young children who had run away from home and dealt with various difficult experiences.

Max played the role of Shabach – a New York City teen who runs away from home because his parents won’t get along. Kenny played the role of Jeremiah – a young teen who has a terrible relationship with his mother and turns to the basketball court to find comfort.

Both boys acknowledged that, although the play’s cast consisted totally of children, there were mature aspects to the play as many runaways deal with abuse, prostitution and drug abuse.

Max and Kenny said they appreciated the opportunity to show an aspect of the real world and the issues with which many runaways are battling.

“Many people don’t know that kids are out in the street and I think we’re helping inform people about what’s going on,” said Kenny.

Max said he wanted to be in the play because “it was so real.”

“There aren’t a lot of musicals with kids in it,” he said, adding usually “the one’s that are on Broadway are about fairytales.”

Kenny and Max also provided advice to kids who may be considering participation in performing arts.

“Have fun,” said Max, “because if you’re not having fun it’s not for you.”

“If it looks interesting to you then go ahead,” said Kenny. “No one’s going to stop you.”

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