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Fútbol, asado y política: lo mejor de Argentina desembarca en DC

Pilar Ramírez             ¿Qué hace  que se reúnan un famoso jugador de fútbol como Mario Kempes,  la presentadora de Univisión Arely Pérez, un diplomático de la sección consular de la embajada Argentina o el alcalde de...

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GALA Dances the Night Away With Last Show of the Season

Luis Salgado. Photo courtesy Luis SalgadoGALA Theatre concludes its 43rd season with the U.S. premiere of a bilingual version of the unforgettable FAME, The Musical. Conceived and developed by David De Silva, with book by Cuban writer José Fernández, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy, FAME is directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado. Salgado returns to GALA with the creative team from the theater’s hit production of In The Heights, which garnered nine 2018 Helen Hayes Awards. Foremost in that team is Music Director Walter “Bobby” McCoy, who will lead a nine piece band. The production will be performed in English and Spanish and will have subtitles in both languages.

Fútbol, asado y política: lo mejor de Argentina desembarca en DC

Pilar Ramírez

emboyere del facebook            ¿Qué hace  que se reúnan un famoso jugador de fútbol como Mario Kempes,  la presentadora de Univisión Arely Pérez, un diplomático de la sección consular de la embajada Argentina o el alcalde de Arlington County, entre otras celebridades, un sábado de mayo en el área metropolitana de Washington DC?

"UNAMUNISMS"

            If for no other reason, you should take in the latest show at GALA Theatre, 'The Old Man, The Youth and the Sea', to witness the tour-de-force performance by Horacio Peña who inhabits the main character of Miguel de Unamuno with authority, grace and charm. The play is a recreation of the 4 month exile in 1924 of the formidable Spanish writer and public figure to the island of Fuerteventura by the Spanish dictatorship of Primo de Rivera.

THE OLD MAN, THE YOUTH AND THE SEA

          GALA Hispanic Theatre continues its 43rd season with the world premiere of "El viejo, el joven y el mar" by Irma Correa, which was commissioned by GALA. Directed by 2016 Helen Hayes Award winner José Luis Arellano from Spain, 'El viejo, el joven y el mar' is performed in Spanish with English subtitles from February 7 through March 3, 2019 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

The Hidden Mexican Legacy of my Father

            I recently returned from a visit to Mexico City (CDMX) for the first time in over 40 years. I'd lived there for an extended period during my adolescence with my father, Jose 'Pepe' Sueiro. My father emigrated to the United States when he was a young man married, and later divorced, my mother whom he had known since childhood in the town of Pontevedra (Spain) where she was from. Born in the seaside village of Sanxenxo, he was a merchant marine when he arrived in New York City and ended up remaining in the country, based in the United States and Latin America for the rest of his life.

            Many years later 'Pepe' became an interpreter for the State Dept. and through his charm and proclivity for languages translated at the White House under President Kennedy. He was also involved in national labor union politics and became known to the AFL-CIO and the union movement. When the Alliance for Progress was launched in the early 60's he was assigned to Mexico as Country Program Director working on social programs that would highlight U.S. solidarity with that nation.

            Among his many activities by far the most important was an affordable housing component that would build over 3,400 units of affordable housing in a building project ultimately titled, 'Unidad Habitacional Kennedy'. It was located in the Jardines Balbuena neighborhood near the airport - at that time on the outskirts of the Mexican capital and now considered a 'close in' neighborhood to city center.

Como agua para chocolate || Like Water for Chocolate

Washington, D.C. – GALA opens its 43rd season with the U.S. premiere of Como agua para chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate, adapted for the stage by Garbi Losada based on the internationally best-selling novel by Laura Esquivel. Directed by Olga Sánchez, Como agua para chocolate runs September 6 through October 7, 2018 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. Parking is available at a discounted rate in the Giant garage on Park Road, NW.
Como agua para chocolate is a story of passion and romance set against the backdrop of the Mexican revolution. Tita, a young woman trapped by a tradition that forbids her to marry Pedro, her true love, finds freedom in cooking so magical it inspires people to laugh, cry, and burn with desire when they feast on her culinary delicacies.
Tita’s struggle to rebel against the expectations imposed by her mother mirrors the national struggle for liberation from the oligarchy during the revolution. This adaptation for the stage captures the pain and tumult of challenging authority, the sensual interaction of the two star-crossed lovers, and the delight of preparing and partaking of recipes handed down through generations.
Como agua para chocolate is performed in Spanish with English surtitles, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. The Noche de GALA and Press Night is Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 8 pm, under the gracious patronage of His Excellency Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
A post-performance discussion with Chef Pati Jinich, the James Beard Award-winning host of the PBS Television series Pati’s Mexican Table, will be held on Sunday, September 23. Ms. Jinich is the resident chef at The Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC and author of two cookbooks, Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking and Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen.
This production is made possible in part with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Embassy of Mexico, ARRP, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

A pinch of Kafka & a Twist of Joe Cuba

Think the energy of West Side Story, the language of the Nuyorican poets with a pinch of Kafka and a twist of Joe Cuba and you get an idea of what the new play at GALA Theatre, "Dancing in my Cockroach Killers", is all about. Six young Puerto Ricans, mostly from the Bronx, dance, sing and recite poetry from the heart of the Boricua repertoire.

Dancing in My Cockroach Killers

            Think the energy of West Side Story, the language of the Nuyorican poets with a pinch of Kafka and a twist of Joe Cuba and you get an idea of what the new play at GALA Theatre, "Dancing in my Cockroach Killers", is all about. Six young Puerto Ricans, mostly from the Bronx, dance, sing and recite poetry from the heart of the Boricua repertoire.

            You will find echoes of West Side Story in the heartbreaking poem about domestic abuse sung by Caridad de la Luz and appropriately titled, 'Maria'. There is the flaming beat of 'Madre de Bomba' performed by master percussionist Nicky Laboy and danced to by Yaremis Felix. In between the 6 member cast cavort around the stage to the sounds of Joe Cuba's 'Bang Bang' and whistle the theme of another great Joe Cuba classic, 'El Pito' (I'll Never go Back to Georgia). It's the mixture of movement, poetry and song that moves the evening along at breakneck pace.

            The blend of old and new, sassiness and sadness brought tears at times and goose bumps throughout. Magdalena Gomez, the poet has captured the essence of the 'Nuyorican hood' with passionate, soaring poetry and dramatic backdrops. She is the poet laureate of Bronx Latin, the sorceress of quixotic Boricua quests. Among the most poignant moments was a plea for the 4,625 islanders dead as a result of Hurricane Maria which became a cry for help and respect for Puerto Rico. The entire night was spent as if in one of those dance halls under the 'Bronx El', where sashay skirts and ultra-high heels abound and salsa erupts from 2nd floor clubs with busy dance floors and plenty of shouting and drama!

            Conceived and directed by Rosalba Rolón in collaboration with Pregones Theatre/PRTT in New York City, GALA concludes its 42nd season with this lively musical that will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm until July 1, 2018. Go see it, you'll have a good time. More information about the show at GALATheatre.org, or by phone at 202-234-7174.

 

            Regular tickets are $45 on Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets for students, military, seniors (65+), and 30 and Under are $30. Additional discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, call 202-234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org.

FOR TICKETS: Call (202) 234-7174, or visit www.galatheatre.org

The Truth Is Like a Piece of Paper in the Wind

GALA Theatre is presenting its most overtly political play in a very long time. Political in as much as it deals with the real life events of three martyrs of modern Dominican Republic history and their battle against the tyrant Rafael Trujillo. The play 'In the Time of the Butterflies' is based on the novel by Julia Alvarez adapted for the theatre by Caridad Svich. It is the story of the three most famous Dominican women in modern history, the Mirabal sisters, brutally assassinated in November of 1960 on the way back from a visit to their jailed husbands. Months later, after more than 30 years in power, the Trujillo dictatorship would fall as the 'caudillo' was murdered in an ambush.

trujillo

            Caridad Svich has made a most faithful adaptation of this very famous material. Not only did Julia Alvarez write the novel in 1994 upon which the play is based, but later it was adapted as a movie with Salma Hayek in the starring role as the mercurial Minerva. In his famous novel, "The Feast of the Goat", Mario Vargas Llosa dedicated a chapter to the events surrounding the Mirabal sisters assassination and Dominicans of all ages know the story as a turning point in the history of their country's struggle against the dictatorship.

            The Svich adaptation attempts to capture and synthesize four different perspectives into this one play making it a bit complicated, albeit fascinating, to follow. A Dominican 'DJ' opens the show as if speaking for the 'pueblo' and the popular beliefs of the time. He pops in every so often during the show as if a rollicking Greek chorus to this Dominican tragedy.

            Scenes of the 3 sisters as young girls highlight the activism of middle sister Minerva (stunningly played by Alina Robert in her first turn on the GALA stage), known for her fiery activism and how these three women of privileged background ended up martyrs to the cause.

            At some point in the play a young female author appears questioning an older Dedé (the 4th sister who did not die in the assassination plot) decades later about all that happened. This portion of the play seems to suggest Julia Alvarez herself researching for her book, making these scenes somewhat of a play within the play.  

            The people, the young sisters, the older sister recounting her past and then a cameo, if you will, of the evil dictator himself (exquisitely performed by the multifaceted Delbis Cardona) complete a whirlwind drama that moves in and out of time and portrays various characters over long periods.

            What most remained for this viewer was the charming, determined and intense portrayal of Minerva by Alina Robert that emphasized the pain and tragedy of the Mirabal sisters. It is Minerva who provokes the radicalization of her two sisters and marries a leader of the resistance. It is Minerva who's relationship to Trujillo is most conflicted (she refuses to bed him) and who suffers the inability to practice law due to Trujillo's prohibition.

            The work is featured at GALA until May 13th Thursdays through Sundays. If you have any interest in this subject go see this remarkable piece of historical drama ably personified and portrayed in GALA's version of the story. Once again GALA has performed an important production with verve and excellence. Check out the details at www.GALA.org and go see this absorbing and excellent theatre piece.  

http://en.galatheatre.org/

Argentine Festival 2018

The Argentine Festival is celebrated this year on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 3:45 - 10:30 PM at Kenmore Middle School Theater (200 S Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington, Virginia 22204)

    Celebrate 'Festival Argentino' with music, food, tango classes and more fun activities. Sample the best from the North and South of Argentina at our 31st annual Argentine Festival. The Festival, the Embassy of Argentina and Arlington County invite you to taste and experience our popular community festival, this year at Kenmore Middle School. The Festival features the work of international and local performers and craft artists. Don't miss the chance to win a round-trip ticket to Buenos Aires, courtesy of COPA Airlines! Admission include one raffle ticket. Tickets available now at www.festivalargentino.org. For more information, please contact (703) 212-5850 or visit www.festivalargentino.org/artistas-2018. There is free parking and you can take the bus from the Ballston Metro.

 artistas

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