Department of Public Affairs
Commissioner Lucio P. Fernandez was elected to the City Commission in 2006 and has a deep-rooted history in the local community, having served on numerous boards and committees, including as Chairman of the Union City Redevelopment Board, Trustee of the Union City Board of Education, Commissioner for the Union City Housing Authority, President of the Union City Public Library Friends, Inc., and President of the Union City Day Care Program. Lucio is a graduate of Rutgers University, and studied acting in New York City with the legendary acting teacher Bobby Lewis. He is an advocate for the arts and is always trying to promote and support artists and the arts in general, as well as stress the importance of the arts in every community.
Lucio has had a varied and successful career working extensively as an actor, singer, director, and producer. Recently he produced and starred in the play “Comfort” at Lincoln Center in NYC, which received much international attention. In 2013, Lucio appeared Off Broadway in the plays “Till Death” and “Busco Amigo”; and prior to that he starred and produced the Off Broadway play “Cuba: Punto X” to great critical acclaim, and which garnered two ACE Awards, two HOLA Awards, and one ATI Award.
He performed his one-man show entitled “Lucio… Less Cuban Than Ever” at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC, which received rave reviews. His previous one-man show “The Cuban Kid” played in NYC and received stellar reviews as well as several awards, including a MAC Award nomination.
As a vocalist, he has recorded the music CD's entitled "Enamorado" and "Volver a Ti", as well as a poetry CD featuring his own poetry entitled “Lucio Fernandez, Poetry”. He recently released a new CD, “American Mambo”. In 2013, Lucio embarked on a concert tour which included Mexico and the Dominican Republic, followed by a concert at Lincoln Center in NYC.
He has traveled the world with several Broadway shows including “West Side Story”, “Guys And Dolls”, “A Chorus Line”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and “On The Town”. He has worked with many of Broadway's leading directors and choreographers, including Jerome Robbins, Jerry Zaks, Michael Peters, Robert Longbottom, and Alan Johnson. For three and a half years, he was a principal actor with Repertorio Español in NYC where he performed in such plays as “Strawberry and Chocolate”, “Vieques”, “Luminaria”, “El Publico” by Federico Garcia Lorca, “El Cano”, “Te Juro Juana Que Tengo Ganas”, and “The Next Stop”. Lucio also starred in the Off Broadway play "Speedo & The Straight Man" at the Kraine Theater in NYC for which he received much critical acclaim. Broadway Workshops include "Tropicana" (Chita Rivera, Artistic Director), "Strides" (Michele Assaf, Choreographer), and "El Shaddai".
Lucio has performed alongside many great artists including Marc Anthony, Shirley MacLaine, Gene Kelly, The Pointer Sisters, Tommy Tune, Susan Lucci, Shirley Verrett, Lupita Ferrer, and Lorna Luft. Recently he has appeared in concert alongside such notable Latin recording artists as Jon Secada, Jose Luis Rodriguez “El Puma”, Sophy de Puerto Rico, Elio Roca, Malena Burke, and Roberto Ledesma. He has performed at many of the world's finest theatres including Lincoln Center in New York City, the Chatelet in Paris, and the Berlin Opera House. Recently he was invited by the Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra in Guayaquil, Ecuador to perform a solo concert; as well as performed multiple concerts throughout Mexico.
He has made appearances on many television shows including a recurring role as an "orderly" on the daytime series “All My Children”. Most recently he was seen on the Emmy Award winning show “30 Rock” on NBC, “Louie” on FX, and “The Jimmy Fallon Show” on NBC. Presently, he is the host of the television show “Live On Stage” airing on Cablevision, ComCast, Time Warner Cable, RCN, and Verizon FiOS. Lucio has appeared in many television and radio commercials for products such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Sprite, Panasonic, Kudos, Verizon, etc. He has worked extensively as a voice-over artist, and did the looping for the role of "Lazaro" in the award winning feature film "Before Night Falls", and on the feature film "Che" starring Benicio Del Toro.
Lucio is the author of "Union City in Pictures", two poetry books, two children's books, and a dozen plays. He has directed, choreographed, and produced many shows, from big musicals to one-character plays, from children's performances to benefit concerts. His comedy “Till Death Do Us Part” premiered at The Grace Theatre in 2001, and then played at Newark Symphony Hall, followed by a run at The Gramercy Arts Theatre in NYC. His family musical “Friend Wanted” also premiered at The Grace Theatre before touring through many of New Jersey's best theatres. His original production, “Havana Moon, The Musical” played to a sold-out audience at Newark Symphony Hall, then at the Park Performing Arts Center.
As an artist, he has exhibited his work at many galleries and museums, including Queens Museum of Art, Union City Museum of Art, Pace University, and MasterCard World Headquarters. He has designed several public art installations including the “Art UC Sculpture” and “La Mujer” sculpture both on Bergenline Avenue in Union City. Other installations include, several sculptures at Embroidery Plaza in Union City, and curated the art installation in honor of human rights, “Our Cry”.
He is founder of MeLu Communications Group, a production and public relations company, dedicated to producing for theatre, television, and film. The company has produced several films including "Vampire in Union City" and "The Death of April"; as well as many short films such as "Massacre in the Woods", “Under a City Tree”, “Blink”, "Cubanoson: The Story", and most recently “PISSIN”.
Lucio was co-founder and Artistic Director of The Grace Theatre Workshop, Inc., the premiere presenter of bilingual and Spanish language theatre in the State of New Jersey. He has taught dance, drama, and playwriting, as well as participated in many school career days, and lectured at many organizations.
He has received many awards including the ACE Award, ATI Award, ARTE Award, ITRA Award, STAR Award, State Proclamation from Governor Chris Christie, and many other proclamations, citations, and awards for his artistic achievements and contributions to the community.
For more information, please visit the Commissioner's personal website.