|"HOPE" cast on Stage. PHOTO courtesy Ramon V. Parra|
I love going to Plays. You can "SEE" the actors in person on stage, you can "FEEL" the energy of a live performance and you can "HEAR" them without the filters of editing equipment and looping sessions.
"Lets Talk" girls supporting Dyana Ortelli ,(the Star of HOPE),Kikey Castillo, Naibe Reynoso (Me), Bel Hernandez
No wonder the best actors in the world keep coming back to the stage, including Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Robert de Niro.
This Thursday I got to see my friend and fellow "Let's Talk" co-host Dyana Ortelli in her play titled “Hope: Part II of a Mexican Trilogy". I went to it not really knowing what to expect, which is the best way to see something. When there are no expectations is when you get the best surprises. Needless to say I was blown away. I loved it! And so did the L.A. Times!
The play is part musical, part history lesson, party family drama. Written by Evelina Fernandez and directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela. It takes place in the 1960's and follows a Mexican family facing the uncertainties of the country's future as they face the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro, and a looming Atomic Bomb that may or may not fry them like "chicharrones". (Chicarrones are pork rinds). President John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro make cameo appearances.
It also talks about the Mexican family dynamic, where Machismo, passiveness (by the Matriarch), and racism take center stage.
The play, did to me, what any great performance should. It made me laugh, get emotional and learn something new .
(here is a promo for HOPE)
"HOPE" made me realize that, 40 years after the Kennedy years, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Now in the 21'st Century, we may not face an "Atomic" bomb, but we do face an "Atomic" financial crisis that has hit us all without mercy. I feel Machismo in our community hasn't changed much. I still see the man playing certain roles and the females succumbing to old traditions. That's changing a little, but at a snails pace. As far as discrimination, hmmm well I think its strange that although I was born here in the U.S., its 2011 and I'm STILL considered a "minority".
I have to give props to ALL the actors. The young actors sang so angelically that I was a little pissed that I haven't seen them before on mainstream series like "Glee" or even "High School Musical". They were great singers and performers and hopefully their talents will be showcased on even bigger platforms.
top row: Sam Golzari, Esperanza America Ibarra, Pepe Serna, Olivia Cristina Delgado, Dru Davis, Dyana Ortelli, Sal Lopez
Botto row: Geoffrey Rivas, Edward James Olmos, Keith McDonald
What can I say about my colleague and friend Dyana Ortelli. She played Elena, the Matriarch who puts up with a cheating husband, sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of her kids and does it all with charm and grace with one clean sweep! She caused me to fold over my seat laughing, hold back tears as she stirred some deep emotions that I've encountered in my own family, and make me proud to know and work with someone so talented.
I encourage everyone to see “Hope: Part II of A Mexican Trilogy”". Its now playing at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Ends Nov. 20. $20-$40. All seats $10 on Thursdays. Contact: (866) 811-4111 orTHE LA THEATRE CENTER Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes.
Hurry.... you only have a few more days!