Monday, July 30, 2012

Mutually Assured Destruction by Peter Lefcourt

Brynn Thayer, Bobby Costanzo, Michael Caldwell

By Joe Straw

The billboard outside the Odyssey Theatre and, the cover of the program, exposes a group of adults, naked in bed, having a martini, eating Altoids, reading a book, and poking a calculator.  They are all very good friends, in the ways one or one may not think, and misbehaving badly in Theatre Planners's World Premier of Mutually Assured Destruction written by Peter Lefcourt, directed by Terri Hanauer, and marvelously produced by Racquel Lehrman at the Odyssey Theatre through August 26, 2012.

Okay, truth be told, there’s no bed, and no naked inhabitants, but there are boxes-on-coasters that move around the stage to give us all sorts of settings, the restaurant, the living room, the pool, Dodger Stadium, the Staple Center and possibly Moscow Square.  (Who knew?)

The play starts long ago, probably before the peek of the Cold War, when kids were told to “duck and cover” in case of an attack of nuclear weapons by a foreign country. The powers that be were trying to win the cold war without destroying the world as we know it and, in their quest to save humanity, they gave us paranoid humans beings that will stop at nothing to destroy each other.

Did I say this was a comedy?

It is. In fact, it is a wonderfully well-written comedy by Lefcourt.  In fact, between the laughs, I kept thinking to myself: OMG this is really good.  (And if I remember correctly I did not say the words, I said the letters.)  

Celine Diano, Scenic Designer, has a map of the world upstage center and this plays an important part in the play.  On the map, Velcro pieces are carefully placed around the world, Moscow, North Korea, Canada, South Korea, Patagonia and other strategic places. An enlarged Risk board game, if you will, to be played for and by adults.

Arnie (Kip Gilman) is a graphic designer who loves everything about the cold war.  Nothing is as titillating as the ideal of the USA and Moscow going at it without actually firing the big guns.  He salivates at the thought of Salt I, Salt II, and nuclear submarines. He loves the very idea of the Cold War. 

Arnie actually felt secure by the thought that everyone was scared and no one, in their right mind, was going to push the button. It was a Mexican standoff. To push the button meant it would be a mutually assured destruction (MAD) and no one wanted that.

The Cold War is analogous to Arnie’s story.  Things can quickly escalate out of control, just like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The story starts when Arnie drives from the Westside to the Canoga Park, California to get an oil change.  For those of you that don’t live in California, this is a terrible drive on a good day and Arnie does so just to save twenty dollars. On his way back, he stops at La Casa de Pepe Mexican restaurant and sees his married friends, accountant Murray (Bobby Costanzo) and Eve (Brynn Thayer), having wine and making out.   The problem is that they are married to other people.

He sees them, they see him, and everyone stops what they are doing. Arnie runs out of La Casa de Pepe.  On their way out, Murray and Eve make up a story as to why they were there.

Arnie decides that he has obtained a nuclear weapon, should he decide to use it.

When Arnie visits Murray to prepare for his taxes, Murray acts as though nothing happened the previous day.  In fact, Murray is seemingly non-chalant when talking about the new tax structure, although he warns Arnie will require morphine rather than aspirin to alleviate the pain.  Murray views Arnie’s scattered receipts and suggests doing something illegal to avoid the taxes. He assures Arnie that if he gets caught; he has only a 1.2% chance of going to prison.  

Murray, trying to establish an alibi, says that he was in Canoga Park meeting with his lawyer.

Arnie, addressing the audience, takes a photo and tells us that Murray is Moscow complete with Red Square garb, and attaches it on the map.

Later, Arnie wants to explode with this knowledge and tell someone. But he doesn’t want to tell his wife, Carol, because then he would have to explain going to Canoga Park to save $20 and his wife will, once again, accuse him of being cheap.  

Carol (Gina Hecht) is home reading 50 Shades of Grey.  When Arnie enters, she quickly hides the book.

“… talked to Eve?” – Arnie

“Yesterday.” – Carol

“Are Herb and Eve happy?” - Arnie  

Arnie’s innuendo peaks Carol’s interest. This makes him the lowest rung on any security clearance ladder, bar none.  

Meanwhile Herb and Myrna (Gwendolyn Druyor) are playing housewife and the plumber guy who comes over to clean out “her pipes”.

“Let him with clean hands cast the first stone.” Eve on Arnie’s message machine.

Arnie suspects that Eve knows about his one-time unfulfilling extra-marital fling with Denise, an agent.  Eve has a nuclear weapon and she is a loose cannon. 

Eve is North Korea.

So now Herb (Stuart Pankin), Eve’s husband, invites his best friend Arnie to a Laker game. Arnie hesitates, not wanting to reveal the secret. But free tickets? Sure.

Meanwhile Eve and Carol meet in a coffee shop. The sardonic Barista (Michael Caldwell) mystically gives them what they need.  Carol asks Eve if everything is okay.

At the basketball game, Herb tells Arnie that he thinks his wife is having an affair. Herb feels “72 – 75% sure” that she is having an affair.

Herb is labeled as South Korea.

Later that night, Herb confronts Eve about where she goes.  Though feeling guilty, Eve denies everything. She is so mad at Arnie, who she believes to be the source of the security leak, that she sends him a photo-shopped photo of Denise and him lounging on a chair.

Later, Murray and Eve are together, and they are going for the record.

At the spa, Carol and Myrna, Murray’s wife, wait for a waxing. Carol learns that Myrna is a little sex pot and doesn’t seem to care what people do in bed.  And to top things off Myrna likes her wax hot and applied nastily by the attendant (Michael Caldwell).  (Some people have really good jobs.)

“You told Herb!” – Eve

“I didn’t!” – Arnie

Eve and Arnie meet at Le Casa de Pepe to clear the air. Instead they get entangled for a brief moment and a private investigator (Michael Caldwell) hired by Herb sees them and takes photos.

This is a fantastic cast of seasoned professionals that stop at nothing to give you a great performance and many laughs along the way.

l - r  Gwendolyn Druyor, Brynn Thayer, Kip Gilman, Bobby Costanzo, Stuart Pankin, Gina Hecht

Michael Caldwell is wonderful as the Waiter and Barista and other characters.  Each character is dramatically different: from the Mexican restaurant waiter, the Chinese Waiter, the bitter about life chai waiter, to Jeeves the butler who strains to lift his arms and speaks like a beaten dog on his last leg. Caldwell is very creative and tremendous in these roles.

Bobby Costanzo as Murray, the accountant, is quite magnificent with his tool belt and his New York accent. He sets the Cold War in motion by doing something he’s not supposed to be doing with someone wife he’s not supposed to be doing it with. He is clever about the ways in which he satisfies his partner(s) as well as his wife.  He is, in one word, insatiable.  (It’s always the accountant that gets the girls.)

Gwendolyn Druyor as Myrna is the lonely housewife.  The young petite thing at home waiting for her husband to come home from his romantic encounters. But we should not feel entirely sorry for her as she is a demander of love and she gets what she demands. There is a lot to be said about her performance. Her character is someone we have much sympathy for in the beginning but toward the end, we realize that she is in the game as well.  This was a job well done.

Kip Gilman as Arnie does the unthinkable. He travels from the Westside to Canoga Park to get a nineteen-dollar tune up because he is “so cheap”.  He needs to use the bathroom, stops at a Mexican Restaurant, and he happens to run into his friends who are having the affair. (Well for gosh sakes, they are practically doing it on the table at the Mexican restaurant. What is he suppose to say:  “Hi guys.” And then grab a chip?) Saying nothing turns out to be the same as inserting the keys into the ICBM missile hole. Gilman as the character Arnie breaks the fourth wall and lets loose a stream of conscience thoughts. He lets us in on what he is trying to do, how he is going to manage the predicament he has got himself into, and how he is going to keep his friendships and not destroy his marriage.  His performance is terrific.

Gina Hecht as Carol is the innocent bystander.  The wife who knows nothing about what has happened until her husband runs back and tells her.  Her curiosity gets the best of her and she confronts the guilty party and she casually asks the question that ignites the fires of the guilty. Hecht does a marvelous job.

Stuart Pankin as Herb does a remarkable job. He is outrageously funny and menacing in the same breath.  This is a character you do not want to cross because, if you do, death may be near.  And in a display of unspeakable horrors, he takes his box of Altoids and commits a heinous crime directed at his best friend, no less. Pankin gives a terrific comedic performance where one can’t help but laugh at his pain. 

Brynn Thayer as Eve is stunning and does a fantastic job. She is the catalyst for a myriad of problems in the numerous situations.  It is a grand physical performance and sympathetic as well.

Terri Hanauer, the director, does a fine job with the actors and keeping the action moving.  There are a lot of funny moments in this play and the direction was spot on.

Peter Lefcourt, the writer, has written a very funny play. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this, ever.  This play is so Los Angeles, all of the references ring true to LA: “I had to walk all the way from Culver City” to Montana.  The second act needs a specific resolution to get to the conclusion but anyone who has lived and loved in Los Angeles is going to love this show.

Go and take someone who loves Los Angeles people and stories.

No show would be successful without a marvelous crew and they are:

Michael Gend – Lighting Designer
Kristen Anacker – Costume Designer
Dino Herrmann – Sound Designer
Adam Haas Hunter – Scenic Builder
Tracy Silver – Choreographer
Mormon Boling Casting – Casting Director
Rita Cofield – Production Stage Manager

Reservation:  323-960-5772

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lorca in a Green Dress by Nilo Cruz

By Joe Straw

The house I used to live in had ghosts, or maybe one ghost.  She was an old wrinkled woman who had an excessively naughty time on earth and she just didn’t want to leave.  

Many times she poked her head from the attic window as I left the house and her stare scorched the back of my head.  A double take and she was gone.  

I told her (many times) that she could leave, there were other places she could go, but she wasn’t a party to that conversation. She was satisfied with turning lights on and off late at night, opening doors, picking and clawing at the ceiling, and, when you weren’t holding on to the handrail, pushing you down the stairs.  She crossed the line with the fire thing, and after I put out the fire, I ran out of that house never to return.  – The Lying Narrator

Federico Garcia Lorca was born June 5, 1898 in Granada, Spain and was murdered by fascists in 1936 on a moonless night.

“… to kill a man is to get to know him in the most intimate way.” - Lorca as Blood

Lorca in a Green Dress, by Nilo Cruz and directed by Jennifer Sage Holmes, is now playing as Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights through August 26, 2012.  Just a few steps away from your own Los Angeles neighborhood and there is plenty of street parking.

The play opens on the day, the month, and the year of his death.  In the dark, General as the Fascist (Serafin Falcon) grills a guard (Loren Fenton) about a list he has in his hands. He notices a poet on the list, Federico Garcia Lorca (Adrian Gonzales), and he asks the guard to get him.  She says they have already taken him.

And so it is that Lorca as Blood (Andrian Gonzales) lies face down after being executed by the Facists in Spain.  He is, in fact, dead.  But in the after-death, he is unaware of his predicament. 

Lorca as Blood slowly finds a reality with variations of himself in life having him come to: Lorca with Bicycle Pants (Josh Domingo), Lorca as a Woman (Tereza Meza), Lorca in a White Suit (Rajesh Gopie), and Lorca in a Green Dress (Alex Polcyn).  They all identify themselves as Federico Garcia Lorca.  They are actually other people who have died and are earning their points for ascension through acting out Lorca as Blood’s life.

Lorca as Blood is happy to see the variations of himself but sees the blood on his body and is confused as to where he is and how he got there.

“Please tell me what is this place? Who brought me here?” – Lorca as Blood

“The gypsies did.” – Lorca in a Green Dress

“The gypsies?” – Lorca as Blood

“They brought you on a green horse, in a green wind.” - Lorca as a Woman

“And where are they now?” – Lorca as Blood

“They left on a green horse, in a green wind, and left behind a green wave of dust.” – Lorca in a White Suit

Lorca as Blood believes that he is only wounded and he wants to find the way out of this place.  Little does he realize or believe that he is in purgatory. They tell him he is in the Lorca room and remind him of his death. In fact, they recreate his death. Three shots, one critical, and then two in the ass, before he expires in the moonless night.  

Lorca as Blood screams!  He wants out!  And he desperately struggles to find a way out.  But they tell him he’s quarantined for forty days.  They tell him he should be happy.  He’s been given a dream body with which to sort all of this out. Lorca as Blood does not think a body drenched in blood is a “dream body”.

Still, he doesn’t get it. Lorca as Blood believes his friend, Salvador Dali, and his reality has put them up to all of this.  It is here the General must remind him of his death. In truth, they tell him what he will experience after death including memory lapses, the rush of blood, and optical illusions.  He will also feel the pain where the bullets entered his body.

“Haven’t you hurt me enough?  What do you want from me?  What do you want?” -  Lorca as Blood

“We don’t want anything from you, Federico.” – Lorca as a Woman

And although they say they don’t want anything from Lorca as Blood, they do want to show him the way.   

But Lorca as Blood is fed up and, while they have a recess, he finds a boy who plays his younger self, Lorca in Bicycle Pants.  Bicycle Pants tells him that he is responsible for collecting his dreams and even describes them. But Lorca as Blood wants out and he is convinced Bicycle Pants knows the answer.

They tell Lorca as Blood that the Lorca Room is for him to come to terms with his existence so that he can ascend to another level. They take him through various levels of homosexual love, life and even his trial of trumped up charges.  

It is with slight trepidation that Lorca as Blood accepts his death but still trying to find the answers he asks Lorca in a Green Dress about death and ascension.  

“And how come I get to have a room?” – Lorca as Blood

“Because the control station recognizes that you are a poet, and all souls are rewarded or corrected as they merit.  Poets revive life, my dear.  Every time you write, you make us see the world in a new way,..” – Lorca in a Green Dress

Lorca in a Green Dress tells Lorca with Blood that he can break quarantine but suggests being a ghost is not such a good thing.  Better to stay here and smell whiskey than to live the life of “broken nights”.  Nights with which he could not be touch by another man.

“I’ve been humble all my life, but I always felt that I deserved to be love.” – Lorca as Blood.

The expression of the play is essentially this:  a man dies, goes to purgatory, he gets help and then moves on. But the words are critical on this barren stage, the method in which they are said, and the pictures that are used to describe the scene and the action. The action directed by Jennifer Sage Holmes could have been more creative in style and in structure; still it has a uniqueness of its own.

When the Gereral says, “stop”, the actors must change into different character, return to their character of origin, and then exeunt et al, crafting an exciting exit into the neither regions from which they came. This presents some interesting challenges for the actors, they are instructed to play out roles, stop playing roles, and then be a completely different character with their own unique objectives.  Imagination and creativity plays an important part in choosing a character with a specific objective, and then jumping in and out of the character. And one must play the word because they are the poetry that is this exciting play.

“Words are meant to be seen and to be felt. And they should come slowly and dramatically from the bottom of our souls. A verbal expression is released to make a theatrical point. If we don’t feel it, how can we live it? If we don’t breath it, how can we express it? Relax and let the words come as they must.”   - (Editor being overly dramatic.)

Adrian Gonzales as Lorca with Blood does a very nice job.  But as the character, he must really try to find a way out of purgatory.  He simply does not try hard enough or is sufficiently creative to find the way. Also, he must be completely fascinated with his alter egos as he watches them perform his life so that when they get to the part of his life that never happened, we are more fascinated by that turn of events.   Also, he stands too far away to be involved in those scenes.  Having him nearer would help his relationships with his alter egos. Gonzales has a commanding presence and his curtain call is very dramatic.

Serafin Falcon plays the General quite nicely. Actually Falcon has the look of a character that has just stepped out of a Blake Edwards’ movie. Clouseau’s counterpart if you will.  He has a very nice look.  Off stage as the General as a Fascist, his relationship with the guard should have been more concrete, more specific: General versus grunt.  It is critical that the General be curious about the poet. As the General in purgatory, he is very harsh, maybe too harsh, his job is to guide the others to offer the poet a way out and he should really control the action without appearing as a flunkie through the course of other action on stage. If you are the General and are controlling the action, be the General.

Alex Polcyn as Lorca in Green Dress has a very agreeable look.  But the characters he plays in assorted scenes should be remarkably different.  They cannot be the same.  Also he must be checking in from time to time to make sure, as the player, he is doing the right thing. The quiet moments with Lorca as Blood worked effectively but it was a bit laissez-faire, they shared the same kind of end, but Lorca In A Green Dress must get something out of his relationship with his counterpart. Still one is not completely sure what he wanted and why he wanted it.   

Josh Domingo as Lorca in Bicycle Pants also does a fine job and has a beautiful voice in one of the songs. As the young character, he is frightened about releasing too much information and not proceeding on the to next level of his journey. Why he wants to help and why he is frightened needs to be conveyed through active choices. He is a man who knows the dreams of another and should play on those dreams. He wants the dreams, knows the dreams, and wants the man who can give him those dreams.

Rajesh Gopie as Lorca in a White Suit is very capable of giving us more on stage.  Dali can be creative and as crazy as Gopie wants him to be without hurting the structure of the play.  We must see Dali’s colors. We must see what others see in Dali to make the life vivid, real, and fascinating. Also in the ride to death, we must not see the ride as a joy ride.  Rather make it a ride to death and the poetic horror it can be.

Alejandra Flores has a very nice appearance as The Flamenco Dancer.  The trick in this role is to incorporate the objective into the dance.  Aside from the sound effects of the action on stage, the dance must be about what the dancer wants to accomplish, where she is taking the dance, and what she wants of the main character.   The dance must have a reason otherwise we are left feeling bewildered.

Tereza Meza as Woman 1 did some very nice things on stage.  As Dali’s sister, we must see hope and disappointment in her portrayal.  She must hope to have the main character and must be disappointed not to have him.  What is the point of playing out a scene if there is no desire?  Desire projects truth, in life, and death.  

Loren Fenton as the guard has a demanding role.  She too is there for a reason.  She has an objective and she must find it. Carmelita Maldonado as Woman 2 does a nice job as well.

Gerardo Morales did a fantastic job as the Guitarist and played wonderfully. It was an absolutely fantastic night of music.

Edward Padilla plays Lorca in a Green Dress and Edgardo Gonzales plays the Flamenco Dancer and General but both did not play the parts the night I was there.

On opening night, one can forgive the mishaps in Jennifer Sage Holmes’ direction. While there were some very exciting moments on stage, the staging seemed at times conventional, and without complexity.  The through line seemed uncertain, and the characters unfocused in their objectives and movements on stage. The play is called Lorca in a Green Dress and Green Dress must have a dramatic impact in the end life that is Lorca as Blood.

Nilo Cruz has written a beautiful play and a wonderful story of the other side of life after death.  It is exciting to watch a poet escape purgatory with his words and wit.

Monica French, the Costume Designer, did an exceptional job of placing the characters in the period.  It was just brilliant work and extremely pleasing.

Other member of the crew were:

Juan Pablo Bustos – Dramaturg & Asst. Stage Manager
Mallory Lopez – Stage Manager
Chloe Diaz – Asst. Stage Manager & Property Design
Willy Donica, Light/Tech Designer
Rocio Ponce – Flamenco Choreography
Dante Carr – Set Carpentry
Eugenia Sevilla – Set Painter
Jorge Villanueva – Tech Operator
Soap Design Co., - Graphic Design
Angel Perez – Production Assistant
Steve Moyer PR – Press Representative

 He was running away from his color green.” – Lorca in Bicycle Pants

“And what did he see in the color green?” – Guard

“Desire until death.” – Lorca as a Woman

Casa 0101 is a beautiful theatre and an important venue for wonderful Latino actors in Los Angeles.     

Go and take a friend that loves the color green.

Reservation: 323-263-7684

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Birds of a Feather by Christina Hart

L - R Eddie Kehler, Patrick John Hurley, Kara Pulcino, Michael Piznarski - Photo Gil Ortiz

By Joe Straw

“…it was not the two halves of a perfect whole that confronted each other at the perfect moment; a missing counterpart wandered independently about the earth waiting in crass obtuseness till the late time came.  Out of which maladroit delay sprang anxieties, disappointments, shocks, catastrophes, and passing strange destinies.” – Thomas Hardy – Tess of D’Urbervilles

The Complex Theatre is a nice quiet place on theatre row along Santa Monica Boulevard.  The Ruby stage has comfortable seating and is a nice intimate space. Sitting down to take notes, I was comforted by the tranquil jazzy tunes before show time.  And everything was so serene, so pleasant, so nice, until I heard this guy outside near the ticket booth.  His VOICE was SO LOUD and edgy, nasally, like the scrapping nails along the backboard, or the sound of braking wheels screeching before the crash.

Every “the”, “but”, and “and”, was “THE”, “BUT”, and “AND”.  Patrons were mouthing “Why is he so loud?”  “Woody Allen would have a field day with this guy.” I groused. But he took no notice.  He stayed in the front row YELLING to his partner.  And she seemed oblivious to his voracious vocal prowess. Fortunately when the lights went down, he got quiet.

This guy was just one odd bird.  Birds can be loud.  Your best defense is to throw a cover over the cage or turn out the lights and hope for the best.

Laurel Grove Theatre presents the World Premiere of Birds of a Feather, a serious comedy through August 5, 2012, at the Ruby stage in The Complex.

Birds of a Feather, by Christina Hart and directed by Robert Burgos, is a marvelous show. Wonderful actors play splendid maladroit characters, and with a very nice social commentary.  Get connected and run to see this production!

One of the first things to notice is that Marco De Leon, the Set Designer, has designed a marvelous set resembling a birdcage.  This structural integument, as a whole, shelters the characters.  They are neatly bundled together and perched on their own swings to deal with the problems they must overcome. The two-birdcage settings are the Birdhouse bar, first, and the living room, second.

Walt (Patrick John Hurley) is the owner of this little frequented bar, The Birdhouse.  His adopted son Reggie (Michael Piznarski) sits playing cards while the other patron, Cee Cee (Kara Pulcino), waits impatiently for her “date” to come through the doors.

Cee Cee is a regular at the bar. She has been turning tricks with her “don’t call me john” on Tuesday nights for the last thirteen months.  But this night is different, he is late and she waits for, at least, a telephone call.  About the only thing that Cee Cee can do, to pass the impatient tide, is to play cards with Reggie.  She waits but the call never comes.

There is something mentally wrong with Reggie.  He is autistic and has some processing issues. We see a glimpse of it as he negotiates his way around The Birdhouse.  He asks Cee Cee if she lives in a “group”.

Walt confides to Cee Cee that Reggie might be moved into a group home.

“He needs more independence… Mrs. Redhead want to look at a group home.” - Walt

It’s getting late and Reggie needs to go home. Because there is a bus-strike, Walt reviews the bus routes with Reggie to make sure he gets to his destination.   

‘I want nine packs.” – Reggie

“You get two packs and a coke” – Walt

Walt puts those items into a paper bag, checks his bus pass, and lovingly sends him on his way out the door.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow.” – Reggie quoting Shakespeare

Suddenly there’s a call but it is from Walt’s real estate agent.  Walt lets Cee Cee know that he is thinking of selling the Birdhouse.  He is not getting any younger and wants to do other things. Besides, the Birdhouse is not a thriving commercial entity.

Joey (Eddie Kehler) enters wearing a trench coat and carrying blueprints for a birdhouse.  He walks into the bar, ignores Cee Cee, and tells Walt that he is sorry that he missed Reggie.  Then he saunters over to Cee Cee’s table and sits down. But, Cee Cee wants him to leave.  Joey wants to know why.

“What time is it?” – Cee Cee

“8:25pm.” – Walt

Joey has a perennial stopped up nose and his voice sounds like the squawkings of a very ill parrot.  He disappears behinds the white cloth of his handkerchief trying to hide when circumstances become unbearable.  His social skills are not up to par as he drops the $100.00 bill on the table: something you would not want to do to any female companion.  

“I pay every time.  I’m not taking anyone for granted.” – Joey

Cee Cee doesn’t like being kept waiting by anyone, customer or not, and if he’s supposed to be there at 8:00 pm, he should be there at 8:00 pm.  

“Walt, am I a good customer?” – Joey

“Yes.” – Walt

Joey loses it, threatens to walk out, but turns around and calls her an “old fat whore”.  Realizing he is about to miss out on his Tuesday night he apologizes for losing his cool.  

“Left me sitting here like I don’t matter.” – Cee Cee

“Mattering doesn’t go along with this relationship.” – Joey

Joey doesn’t understand that every time he opens his mouth, he gets himself into more trouble. So, to apologize, he asks Cee Cee out on a real date.  Cee Cee says she’s busy, that she is going to a funeral, (her favorite pastime) but asks Joey if he wants to go with her.  With trepidation Joey accepts.

They meet a few days later. After the funeral, Joey accompanies Cee Cee back to her place. Cee Cee straightens up a little bit while Joey makes himself comfortable on the couch amongst the hundreds of stuff cats.

Cee Cee fills Joey in on the tidbits of her life including sleeping with the preacher who has just spoken the eulogy.  She shares that Walt has a bad heart. Then she says, “If one of us dies the other will go to the funeral and speak”.

But Joey says he can’t do it.  He says he can’t talk and has panic attacks, which is the reason he doesn’t drive. This doesn’t sit too well with Cee Cee.

Nevertheless Cee Cee goes to the kitchen to make coffee and finger foods. In the middle of the dinning room table, there is a picture of Clint Eastwood who she convincingly says is her father. Her mother told her, “for all I know it (your father) could be Clint Eastwood.” And so Cee Cee has accepted Clint Eastwood as her father.

Not to be excluded from tales of emotional anguish, Joey tells Cee Cee that his adopted parents, (that he did not get along with), took him at summer camp and did not bother to return and get him.  This left an emotional scar that is still with Joey and does not heal.   

These are four characters and they all want.  They’ve all come to the crossroads of their lives and they want to make a change no matter the cost and they all realize that the changes will be severe but they have nothing left. It is, in everyone’s life time to move on.

Eddie Kehler - Kara Pulcino - Photo Gil Ortiz

Eddie Kehler as Joey is marvelous and gives a terrific performance throughout this play. Joey is childlike and never able to love others for themselves.  The only way he gets love is to pay for it.  He still holds onto that part of his life of being an architect even though he is working as a grunt for the DMV.  He presents the blueprints in the hopes that someone will make a marvelous birdhouse with his simple blueprint. But even those dreams are shot down after the construction is a dismal display of a dream gone sour.  Kehler is fantastic and it is not hard to feel very compassionate for the life of this character.

Kara Pulcino gives a wonderful performance as Cee Cee.  As the character, and in her line of work, she is getting up in age and weight and is ready to make the change.  But the change she wants involves others in her plan and she can’t negotiate their lives.  She is a character that is lost and wants to find the way. Although she knows a lot of men she doesn’t understand them and presenting her friend with a book on vultures because they “mate for life” sends the wrong signal to any man walking through her voluptuous door.  She loves the idea of “cats” but frequents the Birdhouse for love and satisfaction not realizing a cat may be all she needs for short-term satisfaction.  Plucino is marvelous in the role and her craft is extraordinary in purpose. 

Patrick John Hurley as Walt does a remarkable job as a barkeep, a man of the peace, and a loving father. Hurley does all the little things with finesse that make the play soar.  As the character he is so entrenched (back behind the bar) in the lives of everyone he meets, they slowly take the life out of him and that is the reason he must move on.  He knows what he needs to do for his family.  His son is the most important person in his life. And while he may have little time left, he wants to provide that time and space with love to the one that matters most. Having his son live in a group home must tear him to pieces.

Michael Pisnarski as Reggie does a fine job.  As the character he must find a way to cope with his disabilities. Hurley has captured the spirit of the character but there is more to be had here.  Youth may be part of the problem.  Nevertheless, Pisnarski gives a spirited performance and one can’t help but be with him in spirit and admiration.

One goes to theatre to find little “gems” like Birds of a Feather.  Christina Hart has written a beautiful show that cuts to the heart and makes us believe in the human spirit. In short it is a story of change that we must all face no matter how much it hurts.   We must leave all the unpleasant things behind us and move forward. Her story is one of compassion, of truth, and an intimate and quirky slice of humanity.  This is a carefully crafted piece of art that deserves to be seen.  

Robert Burgos, the director, takes the plays and does some amazing work with the actors.  The actors in this show have a definitive character and those characters are guided to make the most of situation.  And while everything does not hit its mark it is as close to perfection as one can get.  

Still, if I were to add to this fine production, I would heighten the moments between the father and the feelings to his son’s outside controlling interest.  We know that Walt has health issues we should see more of that on stage to make those moments that are mentioned work throughout the play.  

Also, the additional crew below did a marvelous job and deserves the recognition of this very fine production.

Additional Set Concept and Construction: Dale Parry
Backdrop Artist: Matt Aston
Lighting Design: Samantha Szigeti
Sound Design: James Ledesma
Additional Sound Contribution: Bob Thiel
Publicity:  Philip Sokoloff
Graphic Design: Jolene Adams
Photographer: Gil Ortiz
Stage Manager:  Kevin Bone
Stage Hand: Josh Ledesma

Run to see this production and while you’re at it take a misguided and lonely friend.

Reservations:  323-960-7785

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Plays In The Park by Brian Connors

Ed Asner - Mark Rydell

It saddens me to hear that Peter O’ Toole recently announced his retirement at the tender age of seventy-nine.  

“However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay…, so I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.” – The Marvelous and Magnificent Peter O’Toole

I like the idea of play readings – the evolution of an idea fleshed out to create the perfect form, the perfect moment, the one thing that hits you so hard you want to stand and cheer, the perfect words to convey a moment.

But, generally I try to stay away from play readings because it is not the complete commitment, the laying everything out on the line, for true imperfection perfection, that moment that tears at the heart, that make you laugh so hard, that make you tilt your head a full ninety degrees wondering why characters do the extraordinary things.

So, why a four week playing reading?  Well, okay, why not?

A Plays in the Park written and directed by Brian Connors is playing at the Santa Monica Playhouse through August 12, 2012 and presented by George Schott, Gavin Corey and Rudy Hornish.   This delightful evening of themed readings, with couples in the park negotiating their moments through life.  

The first reading is Park Strangers about a couple of actors Maureen (Beege Barkett) and Dottie (Susan Ateh) who are thrown together because they have been cast in a pharmaceutical commercial.

Dottie is absolutely psyched about working with Maureen, a highly respected actor and in Dottie’s eyes a legend. And although the compliments are backhanded, Maureen lives the part and takes it all in stride until she finds that she cannot do the commercial because a big tobacco company is sponsoring the ad.

Dottie tells her that it is a national spot and they could make a lot of money on this ad. But Maureen doesn’t want to do this despite the people it may hurt who are employed on this shoot. Still, she sits quietly on the bench.  

Dottie, seeing her paycheck disappear before her eyes, wants none of this.  Dottie tells Maureen that she has to move to get away from her needle-injecting drug addicted boyfriend. And if the shoot gets cancelled she won’t be able to get away.

But Maureen has her own motives for not doing the shoot. She also needs the money, but her husband of 25 years recently died from lung cancer cause by smoking and she is not doing the shoot for that reason. Still, she sits.

Dottie tells Maureen the reasons she has to move and implores Dottie not to walk off and although events may not turn out the way they want them to turn out they find out a lot about each other during the course of this diminutive one act play.

Susan Ateh does a marvelous job as Dottie.  She has a wonderful presence on stage.  If this were a full-scale performance I would say the character needs to try a lot harder to keep her partner from walking off the set and to get her back in front of the camera where she needs to be.

Beege Barkett is equally marvelous as Maureen, too marvelous for words. A striking actress with the emotional grandee that accompanies all actors at that stage in her career. It is a wonderful reading and if it were a full-scale performance I would like to see her try to leave the shoot but brought back by her partner.

Swans is the story of a couple that just can’t get it together.

And like swans, they sort of appear out of nowhere so that we can gaze upon their beauty.  But upon closer inspection, these two swans are not speaking to each other and they glide their own little paths across the murky waters of life. Typical swans.

Suzanne (Dahlia Waingort) is not speaking to her partner Bill (Esai Morales).  It seems she has had it. Their relationship has run its course but it was not always like this.  They met at the tender age of 17 and although many years have passed, doing their life things, they’ve only been living together for three years.

So what’s the problem?  It’s a beautiful spring day to have a simple picnic in the park.  They brought pie, cherry for her and apple for him and they can’t agree who gets which slice of the pie.

But what is the root of the problem? They are both artists.  She’s a Rockett (God save him.) and he’s an “arteest”, a struggling painter (unemployed) which all makes for a fantastic relationship when there’s scraps of food in the small apartment, which they share with her mother. And to top things off there are the swans all over the apartment.

“Because they are mologanous.” – Suzanne

“You mean monogamous.”  - Bill  

Suzanne says she wants the apple pie, but Bill wants the apple pie.  Bill says she always loved cherry and doesn’t understand why she doesn’t take the cherry pie. In a fit of anger the pies get thrown into the garbage.

Boy, these two love swans do not get along.

Suzanne’s had it and she moving out.  She’s moving in with her friend, Shirley.  She is leaving her swans with Bill and her mother.

But Bill convinces her to come back for the time being and they nuzzle up and talk about their future. Suzanne confesses that she wants a baby and she lets him know that she has been off the pill and there’s been no pregnancy.  She says it’s him and she wants him to take his sperm in a cup, under his armpit, to the clinic so they can test it.  She also says that she’s been taking a fertility treatment.

“You have a fertility doctor?” – Bill

Esai Morales, Dahlia Waingort

Dahlia Waingort as Suzanne is superb as the not so smart Rockette, a mumpsimus of the ultimate order, and high maintenance chick. But beneath this fractious façade there is a thinking caring conniving woman who has got it all planned out if only she could convince her soon to be husband that it’s in his best interest to marry her.  The meaning of the name Suzanne is “a very sexy woman, possessing extreme intellect and taste” and Waingort is all of the above. As the character Waingort hits all the right moments and has a sublime serenity and sensibility accompanying her presence.

Esai Morales is charming as Bill, a comedic ne’er-do-well who does well at times. He is in a ravelment for which there is not escape.  (Think praying mantis after sex.)  This is a planned momentous occasion and it just doesn’t go right for him. Typical for a man who thinks he has all of the answers and is thrown off by the slightest curve. And if this was more than a reading I would suggest making more of the pie in the trash because, as a man, that’s all he got to hold onto, the trash.  Morales does a fine job and is always a pleasure to watch.

The last play in the trilogy is “Oxymorons” a very delightfully serious comedy.

Joe (Mark Rydell) a youthfully aging man sits in a dilapidated pristine park bench staring at an invisible polar bear in the zoo.  Lost in his thoughts he is accosted by his brother Jay (Ed Asner) who thinks something is horribly wrong.

They are alone together with very little going on as Joe sits peacefully waiting for Jay to catch his breath.  Thinking out they wait to see what the other is up to.

“Life sucks.” – Joe

“Only some of the time.” – Jay

As the play goes this particular segment of life is about Joe, who owned a citrus farm in chilly season of sunny Florida and lost everything he had and then some. His business acumen betides his current state of poverty. It’s a pretty ugly event with which Jay is extremely concerned.

“Take my advice…never be a fruit salesman.” Joe

It turns out that Jay did not have insurance and life on this park bench is nothing but constant change. Joe must think about his wife, his life, and all that he has lost.

Jay is there to offer some hope but he is drawing a blank and can only offer a couple of twenties to his brother Joe who has lost millions. In reality, Jay is brilliantly dull, but has enough smarts to understand the predicament Joe has got himself into.  It is a fine mess they have got themselves into, this thing they call life, and they must find a way out of this laborious idleness, stop quickly, and find the solution to their problem.

This was a grand opportunity to see Ed Asner and Mark Rydell live at the Santa Monica Playhouse.   Unfortunately Mr. Asner will not be coming back due to other commitments, “Hawaii Five O” and then on to Broadway.  And so, while Peter O’Toole has thrown in the sponge, Ed Asner will continue to make his presence known on stage and elsewhere. At eighty (something) we should all be so lucky.

George Segal will be replacing Ed Asner in the coming weeks and Allan Miller will be taking over when George Segal leaves.  And Stephen Collins steps in on August 4th 2012.

Ed Asner as Jay plays the not too wise brother who is, in fact, very wise.  He looks up to his brother and looks after this iniquitous creature. The specific circumstance of this meeting is not lost on this character.  Jay knows what he must do in order to save his only sibling. Still it takes time from the moment they re-create the life they had from the Lincoln Logs to the time they shared the same girlfriend.  All of these moments are laid out on the line in order to save a soul from destruction. Asner is marvelous, his moments ring true to the core of his desperation. “Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.” he mutters until he gets it just right to make that important moment ring true and for him to get his point across. His performance was so simple, superb, and a pleasure to watch.

Mark Rydell as Joey lives hard.  He doesn’t play by anyone’s rules except his own.  He has an arduous time-sharing toys, women, or anything else for that matter. But what he will share is his end.  That’s why he sits in the zoo looking at the polar bears waiting for his brother to witness his last act. But Joey is not remorseful, he doesn’t look back, he just marches to his own drummer, and when the music stops playing, he is caught with his pants down and little money in his pocket.  It is tragically a fitting way to die with no one to come to the rescue except the one that loves him the most.  Rydell was fantastic and if it were not a reading I would add the gun metaphorically closer to your heart and never forget that it is there for use at any moment.

Brian Conners has written three delightful comedies and certainly a staged reading is only the beginnings to material that already has a lot of depth. All the stories have strong characters that desperately need each other. Even in Park Strangers they are desperate.  In the beautiful Swans they are intimates but can’t get beyond their own self-doubts to make their relationship pliable.

Conner’s aphotic plays have a sense of bringing light to brighten the darkness of the given circumstances.  The white swan, the polar bear, and even the white wrappings of a pharmaceutical coat are images holding on to a concept of light being right when in fact taking a look at the comedic darkness opens the doors to magnificent possibilities.  

Stage Manager:  Rudy Hornish
Production Manager:  Sandra Zeitzew
Publicist: Phil Sokoloff
Casting:  Donna DeSeto
Graphic Design:  Victor Juhasz

Go and take a friend who doesn't really understand you or your complimentary remarks. 

Reservations: 323-960-7788

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Trio Los Machos by Josefina Lopez

l to r) Gilbert Rodriguez (Young Lalo), Larry Costales (Medical Examiner), Adrian Quiñonez (Young Paco), Josh Duron (Young Nacho) and Antonio Perez (Fumigator) - Photo by Martin Rojas

By Joe Straw

The Bracero Program, formally known as the Mexican Farm Labor Program, is an important, yet relatively unknown, piece of U.S. labor history and Mexican immigration history. This guest worker program allowed Mexican laborers to enter and work in the U.S. between 1942 and 1964. The Bracero Program began during World War II when the war effort created labor shortages and continued for another 20 years afterwards. Mexicans mostly worked in agriculture with almost half a million workers participating annually during the peak years of mid-1950s. Ironically the Bracero Program brought workers to the U.S. at the same time that undocumented immigrants were deported to Mexico (in what was infamously called “Operation Wetback”).

Although viewed as a means to control undocumented immigration and as a means to protect workers, historians have documented numerous ways in which the program allowed and furthered exploitation. To participate, the Mexican government provided Mexican workers with permission to participate in the program in communities throughout Mexico but, since demand exceeded available contracts, prospective participants waited long periods in Mexico with no food or accommodations. Once they entered the U.S., workers were processed in centers that supposedly assessed their health as well as subjected them to humiliating inspections, including being fumigated with pesticides under the pretext of protecting U.S. citizens. Although pay was to be protected by contacts, workers were frequently paid miniscule amounts after employers/owners withheld exorbitant amounts for food and shelter. Pay that was withheld from workers to be paid in the future was lost and workers never saw these earnings. Working and living conditions were extremely poor despite contracts that specified adequate pay and working conditions. – Vilma Ortiz, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology, UCLA

The black and white photographs hung neatly against the lobby walls in the Casa 0101 Theatre.  Anguished Latino men stripped naked, shoulder to shoulder, holding farm labor contracts in front of their privates while the land-owners and doctors inspected them for lice and sprayed them with DDT, a known deadly chemical.

The Braceros (strong arm men) accepted this inhumane and humiliating treatment for the right to work in the United States in appalling conditions for as little as pennies a day. They came to work in the fields not knowing the deprivation they would endure.

The Braceros were hastily thrown from the back of pickup trucks to taste the dust of the farms they would labor. The food they harvested was for the war effort.  And for the most part, the harvest was with bare hands, and backbreaking work, in the hot California desert sun.  And to top this off, Grumman Ag Cat crop dusters flew low and dusted the men with once again with pesticides.

And while collecting their meager earnings, the Braceros dreamed of the day when their battles against racism and discrimination would end.  

Trio Los Machos is the story of three men, Braceros, who came to the United States in search of work and, in their journey, they found their dignity, friendship, and love for one another.  Those difficult days gave creation to the songs of love they wrote and sang, love stories from the heart, that helped guide them to a better way of life.  

One can’t help but thoroughly enjoy Trio Los Machos by Josefina Lopez and directed by Edward Padilla.  This marvelous world premier show was produced by Rafael O. Calderon, Andy Carrasco, and Mercedes Floresislas and is now playing at Casa 0101 2102 E. First Street in Boyle Heights through July 8, 2012.

There is a lot to commend about this particular musical with songs made famous by Trio Los Panchos.  And also contributing to the music were original songs by Music Director: Danny Weinstein.

The logistics of this production can only be described as difficult at best.  The music comes first, the musicians must be very proficient with the instruments, the singing must be excellent, and to top this off, this production needs the musicians and singers to be great actors as well. The job is almost insurmountable but Edward Padilla, the director, succeeds on many levels and manages to survive intact.

(l to r) Miguel Santana (Lalo), Claudia Duran (Rosario), Roberto Garza (Nacho) and Henry Madrid (Paco) - Photo by Martin Rojas 

The story starts near the end as the Trio Los Machos protagonists, Paco (Henry Aceves Madrid), Lalo (Miguel Santana), and Nacho (Roberto Garza), are singing badly in a bar much to the dismay of the bar patrons (Andrea Santana, and Antonio Perez).  The singing is so bad, and the mood is so sour, they manage to chase the customers away.

The restaurant owner (Roberto Carlos) is not too happy about what has happened and fires the musicians using a derogatory term.

“Did he call us jotos?”   

Paco has had enough and decides to go off on his own. This sends Nacho off to a seedy bar to lament with a shot of tequila in one hand and a love song in the other.   And it is up to Lalo to bring them back together.  Old habits for this trio over a life span of fifty years diehard.

Lalo arranges a meeting in Mariachi Square in Boyle Heights to patch the insuperable differences in Nacho and Paco’s lives. And as Lalo is scoffing down a bag of corn chips, Nacho and Paco get into a fight. A jostled Lalo ingests an exorbitant amount of chips down his windpipe, only to be saved by the Heimlich maneuver.

As Lalo catches his breath, he gains a new lease on life, and insists on becoming the leader of this leaderless group. His obvious solution is to bring in a young woman singer. But Paco is reluctant in having a women singer because of their past experiences. The other guys veto his objections, especially Nacho, and the next morning, they audition women that can provide new blood to the group.

The first one to audition is a singer (Andrea Santa) who is very bad in voice, speaks and sings very little Spanish, but has a grand and delightful personality.  Next!

You get all kinds in auditions and in the next installment there was a woman in drag (Antonio Perez) who charmed the socks of no one in the room. The heavy beard growth and the unsightly legs gave him away.  Although his Spanish was pitch perfect this was just not meant to be. Next!

The next singer is Rosario (Claudia Duran) who has a better voice, a nice body, and is sexually alluring to Nacho and is immediately hired.  Nacho gets a little carried away and with Rosario’s endorsement and they both wind up in the finer accommodations of a seedy motel room.    

Paco finds out about it and brings Lalo to spy on the lovers.  And when Paco interrupts them, everyone gets into a fight and Lalo is hurt and winds up in a coma in the hospital.  

The coma sends us to the day when Young Lalo (Gilbert Rodriguez), Young Nacho (Josh Duran), and Young Paco (Andrian Quinonez) first meet. Lalo fights with the rancher (Larry Costales) about not getting his full pay. The rancher says that deductions are being saved for their future—something history tells us will not happen. He feels mistreated.  After they are trucked back to Mexico, the braceros get back on the work line, told to undress, inspected, and fumigated.  

Not humiliated enough, when they get off work, they find signs in town that say “No Negroes, Mexicans, or Dogs”.  This leads to them singing on the street and as they do so, people are receptive and throw coins near their feet. They discover they are not “that bad” and use the money to buy a guitar and start a career of singing for a living.  It beats farm work.

Later, Dr. Medina (Jesus Martinez) tells the boys that older Lalo has had a stroke and without medical insurance, Nacho and Paco must take him home. They decide to stay with him until he recovers or they find a solution for his care.  Moments later, they discover an unsavory odor coming from his body and neither of his dear friends want to wipe.

While Young Nacho, Paco, and Lalo sing a song in a bar, they meet the beautiful and talented Aurelia (Rocio Mendoza). She falls madly in love with Paco, much to the dismay of Nacho who falls madly in love with Aurelia. Paco is in love with his music but marries her anyway.

The performers succeeded on many levels and overall it was a very fine cast.

Miguel Santana as Lalo, the mediator of the group, tries to keep the mariachis intact. And he uses every visible means at his disposal to keep the group alive and relevant. He has done something that has kept a certain part of his life away from unsuspecting eyes.  To hide this part of his character could have been accentuated more to give the character more depth. Hidden character traits on stage create a wealth of opportunities. The trick is to creatively find those moments.

Robert Garza was exceptional as Nacho.  Combined with the funny things that he did on stage there was a simple truth to his character, a depth, and a man who cares about the finer things in life, his compadres, his music, and his knees. But he holds a secret that he has not divulged even after fifty years.  Maybe it is his reason for the animosity towards his friend but we need to see those actions that make him feel the way he feels toward a specific character.

Henry Aceves Madrid as Paco worked well as a musician and a singer.  Sometimes I got the feeling that he was trying to find the words, without really having them, and he didn’t seem clear with his objective.  His character can be described as a makebate, causing discord. But there must be a reason for his discord.  More must be made with his relationship to Nacho. He had a motive to want to be on his own but didn’t have a reason.  He has to find the reason. Still, his work was enjoyable.

Gilbert Rodriguez as Young Lalo filled the role completely, as a musician, and an actor.  He has a commanding stage presence, a very nice voice, and a nice way with the guitar. This was an exceptional job.

Josh Duron as Young Nacho does a very fine job, with his instrument, his voice and acting instrument.  Try as he might, he does not get the girl but later in life he gets all the girls much to the dismay of at least one of his partners. Also, Duron has a very nice solo song and dance number.  His makeup made him appear to be ill as it appeared lighter than his actual skin color.  Still, this was a very charming performance.

Adrian Quinonez as Young Paco did a nice job and his strength lies in his acting. He is torn between his wife and his mariachi compadres. And if it is his love for music that destroys his marriage, we really must see how that happens.

Andrea Santana as Ensemble 1 was very funny as the singer with no voice but a lot of heart. Her performance was charming and clever.

Claudia Duran as Rosario was very engaging as the singer and the man-eater.  Wanting the job so much that she has a relationship with one of the men in hopes of furthering her career.  It all ends in a dingy motel room somewhere in Boyle Heights. Duran did a very nice job.

Jesus Martinez plays Dr. Medina examining Lalo after his heart attack.  He sends him home unconscious to fend for himself.  

Larry Costales was fine as the Rancher and Anglo man.

Roberto Carlos is fine as the Restaurant Owner.  The words did not come easy for this musician this night but he did a fine job of getting his point across. Actually his role is an important one that sets the stage for all of the events that follow. More could have been made out of that event and the moments that followed.  Note for Carlos, when you are making a point of firing our trio don’t fire them with your back to the audience.

Rocio Mendoza (Aurelia)

Rocio Mendoza was also exceptional.  She has a marvelous voice, a very nice stage presence, and a wonderful acting range. It is the simple things she does so well and the manner in which she sings a song that make the night soar for her and for us.

Also filing out the cast were Antonio Perez, Angel Perez and Estuardo Munoz who also plays Young Lalo but did not do so the night I was there.  

Josefina Lopez has written a funny and remarkable play that I enjoyed from top to bottom.  There is a history lesson to be learned here but this musical is much more than that.  It is the story of songs and love and heartache. The run is very short but one is sure this will have another life in other venues after Casa 0101.

Edward Padilla, the director, has his hands full on this one, but does a fantastic job nevertheless. More could have been made of the relationships between the three friends, their sexual proclivities, and their fondness as well as their disgust for each other.  But when the day is done, the music was great, the story fantastic, and their lives were wonderful to watch. Padilla also was the Set Designer.

The production staff preformed miracles for this type of production they are:

Stage Manager: Nisha Joshi
Assistant Director: Alma Catalan
Costume Designer: Carlos Brown (Wonderful costumes!)
Asst. Stage Manager: Dianna Martinez
Stunt Coordinator: Garrett Hammond
Sound Design: Ramon Acosta
Projections:  Bianca Uli Estrada (Nice Job)
Avocado Tree Maker: Adan Robles
Light/Tech Designer: Willy Donica
Light Board Operator: Jorge Villanueva
Translator: Mercedes Floresislas
Ramon Mendoza: Carpenter
Soap Design Co: Graphic Design
Publicity: Steve Moyer

Go and take a Bracero who loves to sings the love songs of Los Trio Panchos.  

Also Casa 0101 is always looking for volunteers.  If you’d like to fill a void in your life, please give them a call.