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The Huguito I knew

“Amigo del alma Huguito, compañero de viaje, caminante eterno y sobre todo sangre de mi sangre - creador, agudo, sensible y de implacable integridad. Yo te canto y te brindo con un llanto triste entre los olivos. Amor, siempre amor Hugo!”

I met Hugo Medrano when he was a very thin, young, curly haired waiter with a look alike pooch on his lap. He had yet to meet Rebecca, his future wife and soul mate. I was a student at George Washington University who helped write a grant for the Hispanic Theatre Program at the university. Even early on, it was clear to me I wasn’t cut out to spend the rest of my life dedicated to the theatre and was desperately seeking someone to share the opportunity with. A year or so passed and –already partnered with Rebecca- they began working together with a group called The Back Alley Theatre, run by Naomi Eftis, an epic whirlwind of a theatre activist in this town.  

Grand Finale of the 18th Annual Fuego Flamenco series at GALA - Part 3

            It has been a varied and talented flamenco festival at GALA Theatre for 3 weeks in November 2022. It began with a memorable show highlighted by the voice of ‘Niño de la Isla’ and the Santa Fe infused influences of Antonio Granjero and his ensemble. It continued with the powerful male dancers of the Aparicio Dance Company and ended with the guitar led, original spectacle of ‘Alejandra’, produced by Flamenco Spain Arts & Culture, based in Madrid.

Washington DC dresses up for Dominican Fashion Week 2022

By Malcolm Barnes Washington D.C. November 12, 2022

“Dominican Fashion” has arrived for the first time in Washington DC. The majesty of art and fashion from great designers who with their exuberant strokes and textures make possible the exhibition of modern fashion design from the Caribbean in the nation’s capital. The event, open to the press, took place Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Sheyla Vie Collections, 5333 Wisconsin Ave Washington DC. Held to create support for Dominican fashion, it brought together some of the most prominent fashion designers in Latin America. The montage of various dresses and apparel by Maribo Productions complemented the outstanding designers from the Caribbean, Central America and Spain, such as Alex Adames and Luisa Tobon from Panama; Benito Antonio, Raiza Bonaparte, Ramon Antonio and Fernando Gantier Dominicans; Fernandita Salazar, from Honduras; Adriana Amado from Colombia and Sanel Rivera of Puerto Rico. Featuring Artists Julio Infante, from the Dominican Republic and Israel Lozano from Spain, as special guests. The models that graced the runway gave life and movement to each of the exclusive pieces of the exhibition.

Flamenco Men Part 2 of the Fuego Flamenco Series at GALA Theatre

          It has taken Edwin Aparicio 18 years to craft a world-class flamenco ensemble right here in the nation’s capital. Credit GALA Theatre for having nurtured this project for so long and continuing to present Edwin & company to audiences at their theatre. The latest Aparicio confection, ‘Flamenco Men’ made its debut at the theatre on Friday, November 4 for one weekend only.

            Flamenco Aparicio Dance Co. presented a solid, authentic and daring show. The group consisted of the soulful singer from Malaga, Amparo Heredia, with the wonderful nickname ‘La Repompilla’ and the equally remarkable voice of Francisco Orozco, ‘El Yiyi’, who sang marvelous flamenco renditions while playing the ‘cajon’, a typical percussive instrument in the flamenco idiom. The troupe added a piano player who also doubled on the cello, Gonzalo Grau, somewhat innovative and outside the normal flamenco instrumentation.

            The dance ensemble consisted of four male performers. Aparicio, who appeared in a few of the group pieces and performed one major solo toward the end of the show, the short, curly haired powerhouse, Ricardo ‘El Niño’ Osorio, a veteran of the company, whose performance of ‘Ambiguo’ with Aparicio was perhaps his most impressive rendition. The other two dancers, Ivan Orellana and Gabriel Matias were mesmerizing on stage.

The Flamenco Series at GALA Theatre Part 1

It has been 18 years now that GALA Theatre first presented its ‘Fuego Flamenco’ Festival and each year there seems to be a new wrinkle, a new twist. It just gets better and better! The theatre has managed to create an excellent company right here in the nation’s capital under the curatorial eye of El Salvador’s, Edwin Aparicio. Over the years they have also set up a reciprocal agreement with the famous Casa Patas flamenco company in collaboration with Flamenco Spain Flamenco Arts and Culture (FECACE).

Iflanovn addition, for the first time, Fuego Flamenco has become a 3-week affair, having added the Cadiz inspired, Santa Fe based, ‘Entre Flamenco’ spectacle to its long list of successful flamenco shows. ‘Cerrando el Circulo’ the title of the first show, co-directed and choreographed by Antonio Granjero had its debut performance the weekend of October 28. More on that later.

The weekend of November 4-6, Edwin Aparicio will highlight the latest in his Flamenco Men series, an approach that has garnered him widespread recognition in the flamenco world.

Panel de la Historia de la Comunidad Hispana en DC

En Washington, DC recuerdan la historia del surgimiento de la comunidad latina

Con motivo del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, la Oficina de la Alcaldesa para Asuntos Latinos organizó un panel con personalidades de diversas áreas que contribuyeron al desarrollo de la comunidad en la capital de Estados Unidos  

Patricia Zelikoff

La alcaldía de Washington, D.C. recordó algunos aspectos de la formación de la comunidad latina en la capital de Estados Unidos, como parte de su programa de celebraciones del Mes de la Herencia Hispana.


“Una cucharadita de pimentón dulce y una pizca de clavo de especia molido”

No permitieres que estas dos joyas de una buena caçuela de ajo “mataero”, se perdieren en la coçion mal sazonada. Debes poner la especería carmesí de tierras de conquistadores a los principios, en acabando de pasar por manteca caliente la panceta, el hígado y la carne hasta dejarlas al tono dorado. Tuesta ligero el pimentón que por demás, amarga y envenena el paladar. Echa el pan en miga, se menea con el pimentón y un poco de agua de la cántara. Cocido todo, ban al almizcle junto al hígado y majamos por si ubiere algún nerbesuelo de la víscera para fácilmente quittar.

The amusing Zarzuela at GALA Theatre:

Troublesome Troublemaker

            The new musical show at GALA Theatre is a curious potpourri of production and directing choices. Based on a brief, frivolous, light opera -a genre known as ‘Zarzuela’ in Spain- it is a comic opera akin to the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas of the 18th century. This particular piece, ‘La Revoltosa’ (The Troublemaker) was written in 1897 and was originally less than 30 minutes long.  

            The evening was entertaining and enjoyable. The music, performed live by a ten-piece orchestra, was enchanting. At the beginning of both the first and second acts there were extended musical introductions that set the fantasy-like tone for the proceedings. The singing, what there was of it, was special. If you have never witnessed a performance by mezzo-soprano, opera star Anamer Castrello, you should attend simply to enjoy her solo at the beginning of the second act. Anamer is simply the finest Hispanic female singer in the metropolitan area. Whether she is belting out a Celia Cruz tune or a Leontyne Price aria, she will leave you breathless from the range and power of her voice. The show deserved more of her.


Una mujer está sentada sola en una casa. Sabe que no hay nadie más en el mundo: todos los otros seres han muerto. Golpean a la puerta.

La mujer se levanta del sofá. Ha pasado horas dejando escapar la soledad sobre los álbumes de fotografías que le devuelven imágenes de una vida. Recuerdos cada vez más desgastados. Como su propia historia, apenas hilvanada a los pocos momentos que le devuelven las viejas instantáneas.

 - ¡Adelante! La puerta está abierta- indica

-Querida, tú siempre tan confiada ¿no tienes miedo a que entre alguien con malas intenciones? -

-¡Que sorpresa! Pasa Matilda ¿malas intenciones en este pueblo perdido? Si incluso el tren correo ha borrado esta dirección de su recorrido por las noticias epistolares.

GALA Theatre Reaches New Heights with “On Your Feet”

In a feat of astonishing ambition and virtuosity, D.C.s GALA Hispanic Theatre, one of the nation’s top Spanish language cultural centers, has managed to produce a complex, difficult,  popular Broadway musical in Spanish, most appropriately about the life of diva and Cuban icon Gloria Estefan. “On Your Feet’ is a tour de force! GALA Theatre has used every possible resource within its reach to provide for a first rate, top of the line, exciting song and dance show with live musicians, exquisite voices and a dance ensemble made for Radio City Music Hall. All told, it is a production of extraordinary breadth and sophistication.

Beer and spirits have more detrimental effects on the waistline and on cardiovascular disease risk than red or white wine

 Researchers are working to tease apart how various alcohol types contribute to weight gain and disease risk.

pixhook/E+ via Getty Images

 Brittany Larsen, Iowa State University

 The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

  The big idea

Drinking beer and spirits is linked to elevated levels of visceral fat – the harmful type of fat that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and other health complications – whereas drinking wine shows no such association with levels of this harmful fat and may even be protective against it, depending on the type of wine consumed. In fact, we found that drinking red wine is linked to having lower levels of visceral fat. These are some of the key takeaways of a new study that my colleagues and I recently published in the Obesity Science & Practice journal.

In memoriam: Farewell to Our Champion

Jose Sueiro 
On behalf of Metro D.C. Hispanic Contractors 

Jon Seavey was a remarkable man! A high-ranking official at Gilbane Construction, he was among the most expert and elite construction managers in the region. He had a keen social sensibility, was a sharp negotiator and exhibited a sardonic, dry sense of humor that put all those around him at ease. He was a friend and mentor to numerous members of Metro D.C. Hispanic Contractors Association and gave a great many of them their first big opportunity. His support is directly responsible for the Association’s survival and success. He was the genius behind our last two fundraisers and brought a great many resources to our business guild.

He died suddenly Saturday, April 9, 2022.

Legalizing recreational pot may have spurred economic activity in first 4 states to do so

Roberto Pedace, Scripps College; Amanda Marino, San Diego State University; Curtis Hall, Drexel University, and James D. Brushwood, University of Arizona

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Banking activity in the first four U.S. states to make recreational marijuana legal grew significantly more than in other parts of the country despite federal laws that prohibit financial companies from any involvement with cannabis, according to our new study.

This isn’t to suggest that banks illicitly benefited from the burgeoning pot business by taking deposits from cannabis companies or giving them loans. Our data doesn’t back that up – and those practices remain illegal under federal law. Rather, we believe our findings suggest legalization may have spurred more economic activity generally

Using data from regulatory filings, we compared the deposits and loans of banks in the first four legalizing states – Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – with those in every other state. We examined quarterly bank data from 2011 to 2017, which covers several years before and after legalization was enacted in all four states.

To ensure that we captured the effect of legalization on deposits and loans and not other possible factors, we adjusted our data to account for other differences among banks and states that may have influenced these trends.

We found that bank deposits grew, on average, an additional 4.3% in those four states after they legalized marijuana relative to states that had not yet done so. The volume of loans surged 6.5% more in states where marijuana was legal.

These findings suggest banks were either unconcerned about the potential risk associated with accepting cannabis-related deposits or optimistic about the chances that regulations will adapt to the needs of legalizing states. These findings are significant because every dollar of new deposits increases the lending supply, which can help economywide financing, growing more than just cannabis businesses.

 Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic

Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina

In the short time since the omicron variant was identified in South Africa in November 2021, researchers have quickly learned that it has three unique characteristics: It spreads efficiently and quickly, it generally causes milder disease than previous variants and it may confer strong protection against other variants such as delta. 

This has many people wondering whether omicron could act as a vaccine of sorts, inoculating enough people to effectively bring about herd immunity – the threshold at which enough of the population is immune to the virus to stop its spread – and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

As immunology researchers at the University of South Carolina who are working on inflammatory and infectious diseases, including COVID-19, we find the characteristics of omicron in the pandemic setting particularly intriguing. And it is these characteristics that can help answer that question.

Some 4.73 billion people across the globe – about 61.6% of the world’s population – have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the United States, 63.4% of the population is fully vaccinated with two doses as of late January 2022, while only 39.9% of Americans have received the booster dose. Such low levels of vaccination resulting from vaccine hesitancy and the complexities of the global vaccine supply chain cast doubt on reaching herd immunity through vaccination anytime soon.

How does omicron mimic a vaccine?



All vaccines work on the principle of training the immune system to fight against an infectious agent. Each vaccine, regardless of how it is made, exposes the human or animal host to the critical molecules used by the infectious agent – in this case, the SARS-CoV-2 virus – to gain entry into the host’s cells.



Some vaccines expose the host only to select portions of the virus. For example, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use a molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to encode and produce a fragment of the “spike protein” – the knobby protrusion that is expressed on the outside of SARS-CoV-2 viruses – inside a person’s body. These spike proteins are the key way that the coronavirus invades cells, so the mRNA vaccines are designed to mimic that protein and trigger an immune response against it.



In contrast, some vaccines against other infections, such as chickenpox and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), expose the host to a “live attenuated” form of the virus. These vaccines use small amounts of a weakened form of the live virus. They mimic a natural infection, trigger a strong immune response and afford lasting resistance to infection.



In some respects, omicron mimics these live attenuated vaccines because it causes milder infection and trains the body to trigger a strong immune response against the delta variant, as shown in a recent study that is not yet peer-reviewed from South Africa.



Deliberate infection with omicron is not the answer



While omicron may share certain characteristics with a vaccine, it should not be considered a viable alternative to the existing vaccines. For one, COVID-19 infection can result in severe illness, hospitalization or death, especially in vulnerable individuals with underlying conditions. It can also cause long-term health effects in some people, called long COVID. In contrast, vaccines currently available against COVID-19 have been tested for safety and efficacy.



The high transmission of omicron combined with ongoing vaccination efforts could help attain herd immunity soon and end the most acute phase of the pandemic. However, there is little chance of it eradicating COVID-19, since all signs point to the likelihood that the virus will become endemic – meaning SARS-CoV-2 will be in circulation but will likely not be as disruptive to society.



Thus far, smallpox is the only infectious disease that has been eradicated globally, which shows how difficult it is to fully eliminate a disease. However, it is easier to control an infection effectively. One example is polio, which has been reduced or eliminated in most countries through vaccination.



What happens when the body meets a virus or vaccine



Both viral infections or the mimicking of a virus through vaccination activate a critical component of the immune system, called B cells, in the body. These cells produce antibodies that bind to the virus, preventing it from infecting cells. These antibodies act much like anti-ballistic missiles that shoot down an incoming virus missile. However, once a virus manages to get inside the body’s cells, antibodies are less effective.



A 3-D illustration of antibody proteins attacking a coronavirus pathogen cell. 1200w, 1800w, 754w, 1508w, 2262w" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px">

Antibodies behave similarly to anti-ballistic missiles, shooting down their target – in this case, the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Christoph Burgstedt/iStock via Getty Images Plus



That’s where another key player in the immune system, called killer T cells, come in. These cells can recognize and destroy a cell as soon as it is infected, thereby preventing the virus from multiplying and spreading further. Think of this as an anti-ballistic missile that detects and destroys the factory where missiles are manufactured.



Immunologists believe that antibodies against COVID-19 prevent an individual from catching the infection, while the killer T cells are crucial in preventing severe disease. Despite its numerous mutations, omicron can trigger a strong killer T cell response. This may explain why the COVID-19 vaccines – by triggering the T cells – have provided strong enough immunity against omicron to, in most cases, prevent hospitalization and death.



But, critically, the first wave of antibodies and killer T cells produced during infection or vaccination last for only a few months. This is why recurrent infections of COVID-19 have occurred even in the vaccinated population, and it’s also why booster shots are needed. In contrast, some vaccines – like the one against smallpox – have been shown to trigger immunity that lasts for several years.



Memory immune response



So what exactly triggers strong and lasting immunity? The lifelong immunity seen in certain infections such as smallpox can be explained by a phenomenon called “immunological memory.”



After the B cells and killer T cells first encounter the virus, some of them get converted into what are called memory cells, which are known to live for several decades. As their name suggests, when memory cells “see” a virus again after initial exposure, they recognize it, divide rapidly and mount a robust antibody and killer T cell response, thereby preventing reinfection.



[Over 140,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletters to understand the world. Sign up today.]



For this reason, memory cells are critical for establishing strong, long-lasting immunity. This is evidenced from studies with smallpox in which people that were infected or vaccinated were found to have the antibody response even after 88 years! Why some infections or vaccines trigger long-lasting memory and others do not is under active investigation. Because COVID-19 is only two years old, we researchers don’t know yet how long the memory B and T cells last. Based on recurrent infections, it looks like longer-term immunity does not last very long, but that could also in part be due to the evolution of new variants.



All of these considerations leave room for hope that when new variants of SARS-CoV-2 inevitably arise, omicron will have left the population better equipped to fight them. So the COVID-19 vaccines combined with the omicron variant could feasibly move the world to a new stage in the pandemic – one where the virus doesn’t dominate our lives and where hospitalization and death are far less common.The Conversation



Prakash Nagarkatti, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina



This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.



Washington, D.C. – GALA continues its season with the world premiere of La casa de la laguna (The House on the Lagoon), a play by Caridad Svich based on the novel by Rosario Ferré. Directed by New York City- based director and writer Rebecca Aparicio, The House on the Lagoon will be performed live from February 3 through 27, 2022, with strict safety measures in place that comply with applicable government orders and guidance. GALA Theatre is located at 3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010, one block from the Columbia Heights Metro station on the Green and Yellow lines. Parking is available at a discount in the Giant parking garage off Park Road, NW.

In The House on the Lagoon, Isabel Monfort struggles to understand and find her voice in writing the histories of her family and the family of her husband, Quintin Mendizábal. As she unveils family secrets that reflect a society rooted in racial, gender and class strife, she threatens the family patriarchy. This suspenseful saga weaves several generations of family history with a chronicle of the political history of Puerto Rico that continues to unfold.

The House on the Lagoon is performed in Spanish with English surtitles Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. Press Night and Noche de GALA is Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 8 pm, followed by a reception with the director and artists.

This production is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Miranda Foundation.

Fall means more deer on the road: 4 ways time of day, month and year raise your risk of crashes

Tom Langen, Clarkson University

Autumn is here, and that means the risk of hitting deer on rural roads and highways is rising, especially around dusk and during a full moon.

Deer cause over 1 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year, resulting in more than US$1 billion in property damage, about 200 human deaths and 29,000 serious injuries. Property damage insurance claims average around $2,600 per accident, and the overall average cost, including severe injuries or death, is over $6,000.

While avoiding deer – as well as moose, elk and other hoofed animals, known as ungulates – can seem impossible if you’re driving in rural areas, there are certain times and places that are most hazardous, and so warrant extra caution.

Transportation agencies, working with scientists, have been developing ways to predict where deer and other ungulates enter roads so they can post warning signs or install fencing or wildlife passages under or over the roadway. Just as important is knowing when these accidents occur.

My former students Victor Colino-Rabanal, Nimanthi Abeyrathna and I have analyzed over 86,000deer-vehicle collisions involving white-tailed deer in New York state using police records over a three-year period. Here’s what our research and other studies show about timing and risk:

The Flower That Starts to Wither:

Dona Rosita the Spinster (or the language of the flowers)

The Americas took Rosita’s fiancé away from her… Gala Theatre brings Federico Garcia
Lorca’s Spain to the Americas in a play about love, family, tradition, loyalty, migration and the
passage of time. The collaboration between the Embassy of Spain and Gala Hispanic theatre
makes this poetic theatrical transatlantic feat possible. A similar collaboration in 2015 on nother
of Lorca’s lasting theatrical pieces, Yerma, earned that production a Helen Hayes Award for Best
Play and for the main actress, Mabel Del Pozo (Rosita/Yerma), the award for Best Actress.

Day 16: my first visit to the famous Gehry designed, Marques de Riscal hotel.

Day 16 on the road in northern Spain, my first visit to the famous Gehry designed, Marques de Riscal hotel.
Located at the entrance to the town of 'Elciego' in the upper Rioja, near the 15th century church across the way, this imposing, strange looking structure which changed colors w/the evening light took my breath away. Elaborate, other worldly & ethereal, it is elegant & expensive. We sat on the patio. I sipped a Riscal gran reserva. My friends José Joaquín Sanz García & Paloma Dominguez Diaz & I took a picture w/the town in the background. We also went to the mouth of the bodega & got a good long view of the entrance.

Day 15: of this wonderful journey through the north of Spain

Day 15 of this wonderful journey through the north of Spain in the beautiful little village of Torrecillas, in the Cameros region of La Rioja nestled between jagged peaks & the 'Iregua' -a gurgling mountain stream. Staying in the quaint bed & breakfast; Villa Liquidambar w/my friend José Joaquín Sanz García.

Day 13-14: travels through the north of Spain. Leaving Galicia

Day 13-14, travels through the north of Spain. Leaving Galicia, but not before saying goodbye in Pontevedra to my cousins, the Estevez sisters, Margot, Amelia & (not pictured here) Maria del Carmen.
So overwhelmed with emotion I forgot to take the photo 'de rigor' & had to settle w/a photo from the car from my travel companion upon meeting them.

Day 7: of our road trip to Northwest Spain, Salamanca

Day 7 of our road trip to Northwest Spain, Salamanca, with its famous sandstone 'Plaza Mayor' & even more famous cathedral complex. The home of the distinguished philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno. University town full of youth & vitality, conquered in 217 BC by Hannibal. An institution of Spanish learning & repository of heritage & thought...

Day 6: Said goodbye to the Gredos mountains and on to Salamanca.

Day 6 of the road trip in Northern Spain. Said goodbye to the Gredos mountains and on to Salamanca. Bathed in a pool w/waterfall we first visited 18 years ago. Even though the rush of water is less than half what it was then, still remembered the memory of my son slipping & falling down to the bottom of the pool.

Day 4: of our road trip through northern Spain

Day 4 of our road trip through northern Spain... leaving behind the aqueduct & 'fantasyland', the little known fact that the Alcazar in Segovia was the inspiration for Disney's logo of the fantasyland castle in their TV programs & at their entertainment venues.

Day 3: of this glorious road trip through the north of Spain

Day 3 of this glorious road trip through the north of Spain & we have landed in 'la gran Segovia'.

As we rambled through the entrance to the aqueduct of what was once among the most important Spanish towns during the 'reconquista' & up into the center of town & the cathedral, we stopped to eat the finest 'jamon Iberico de bellota' we've tasted so far, in a region famous for its ham...Next we visit the Alcazar, the castle that inspired Walt Disney's fantasyland, & amble back to the palace at 'La Granja de San Ildefonso', iconic summer palace of the catholic kings & site for the brilliant new Netflicks series, 'La Cocinera de Castamar''.

Day 2. Arde la Puerta del Sol

Day 2 of the trip joined by my travelling partner & ex-professor friend, Lawrence Hawkins. Went to the center of town through Puerta del Sol to Plaza Mayor

The Tango is a Woman’s Thing

After the successful live presentation of La Tía Julia y el Escribidor (Mario Vargas Llosa) in May 2021, the Gala Hispanic Theatre continues to proudly and enthusiastically proclaim "Live Performances are Back" with all and extra covid-19 precautions still in force, social distancing, masks required, and 25% capacity until the city lifts the limitation on June 11.  So, prepare for a memorable  evening with a fantastic presentation of Ella es Tango.


"I submit that tennis is the most beautiful sport there is and also the most demanding. It requires body control, hand-eye coordination, quickness, flat-out speed, endurance, and that weird mix of caution and abandon we call courage. It also requires smarts. Just one single shot in one exchange in one point of a high-level match is a nightmare of mechanical variables."

- David Foster Wallace

            I came late to tennis, only starting to play when my son was 11 years old. I had played the game only infrequently during most of my adulthood favoring soccer more than tennis. I was a soccer referee for 14 years and wanted to dedicate time to that, but at some point it didn't fit my schedule. Then I discovered the game of tennis. As the great writer David Foster Wallace said it is, 'the most beautiful sport there is'. At first I would compete with my son (he beats me regularly now when we get the chance to play), then gradually I began to play with friends and in 'leagues' at the courts in East Potomac Park and at Carter Barron.

The Scandalous Side of Don Mario

            What first comes to mind when you consider the new Spanish language theatre piece at GALA, ‘Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter’, an adaptation of the Mario Vargas Llosa novel, is how courageous and determined Rebecca and Hugo Medrano are about their company. GALA Theatre is the only live theatrical venue open to the public in DC at this time. It’s a tribute to their grit and determination that this show, over a year in abeyance, has finally happened at all!

There is a sheer plexiglass barrier between the stage and the audience (which actually enhances the theatrical effect) and only 50 people seated in the venue which made for a very odd -and depressing- opening night. Everyone masked up to get in. Social distancing and other precautions were taken.

Caridad Svichzayas            The show, elements of which are autobiographical, is a comedy highlighting the scandalous side of Don Mario, ideal for the moment we live in. Deftly crafted by Director Jose Zayas from the adaptation by Caridad Svich and brilliantly acted by a fine cast of both newcomers and the steady veterans of the GALA ensemble. The entire experience was delightful. Laughter abounded and, despite the distancing and small crowd, there was energy and passion in the audience for the show. It is a complete success.  

Amanda Gorman's poetry shows why spoken word belongs in school

 Kathleen M. Alley, Mississippi State University; Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Cornell University, and Wendy R. Williams, Arizona State University

Editor’s note: Not long after Amanda Gorman recited one of her poems at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Jan. 20, three of her forthcoming books skyrocketed to three of the top four spots on Amazon. She was also selected to recite an original poem for Super Bowl LV. Here, three scholars of poetry explain why the writings of the 22-year-old Gorman – who became the country’s national youth poet laureate at age 17 – and her rise to fame represent a prime opportunity for educators to use spoken word poetry as a lively way to engage students.

Why being stuck at home – and unable to hang out in cafes and bars – drains our creativity

Korydon Smith, University at Buffalo; Kelly Hayes McAlonie, University at Buffalo, and Rebecca Rotundo, University at Buffalo

While the pandemic has caused thousands of small businesses to temporarily close or shutter for good, the disappearance of the corner coffee shop means more than lost wages.

It also represents a collective loss of creativity.

Researchers have shown how creative thinking can be cultivated by simple habits like exercise, sleep and reading. But another catalyst is unplanned interactions with close friends, casual acquaintances and complete strangers. With the closure of coffee shops – not to mention places like bars, libraries, gyms and museums – these opportunities vanish.

Of course, not all chance meetings result in brilliant ideas. Yet as we bounce from place to place, each brief social encounter plants a small seed that can gel into a new idea or inspiration.

By missing out on chance meetings and observations that nudge our curiosity and jolt “a-ha!” moments, new ideas, big and small, go undiscovered.

What are emergency use authorizations, and do they guarantee that a vaccine or drug is safe?

 Tony Potts, a 69-year-old retiree, removes his face mask for a temperature check just before receiving his first injection in a phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Potts is one of 30,000 participants in the Moderna trial.

Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty ImageS

Christopher Robertson, Boston University and Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins University

In coming days, the Food and Drug Administration is likely to authorize new COVID-19 vaccines based on applications submitted by two companies. These authorizations have happened very fast in a process called “emergency use authorizations,” or EUAs.

Does this swift action mean that products are proven safe and effective? Not exactly. But it suggests that they may present a reasonable balance of risks and benefits.

We are a physician and a lawyer, and we also study drug development from the perspectives of history and philosophy. The longer view is helpful to understand the differences between full FDA approval and EUAs.

At GALA Theatre:

            The first thing that stands out when you mention Gala Theatre's new production of Lope de Vega's classic comedy, "El Perro del Hortelano", (translated as, 'The Dog in the Manger', but better described as the 'gardener's' dog, the one who doesn't eat or allow others to partake), performing live now through Nov. 22, is the unprecedented act of bravery it takes to produce a live theatre piece at this dangerous juncture. Not easy, yet GALA has done it with care and caution under safe conditions and, remarkably, with a delightfully fresh comedy, a welcome antidote to our gloomy, lugubrious times.


The PARADIGM Shift, like everything else is simple to
understand if you start with the root of the problem.
OK let’s say that In the Macro and the Micro We lost our way and are
embarked on an internal journey from the mindset of LOVE to the mindset
of FEAR ... What does this mean in human behavior? It means we are
going... From the Mindset of CONTROL back to the Mindset of allowing
the heart to TRUST!!!
Now, let’s elaborate on Fear which as we know is the consequence of
the root of the problem, duality, the black snake mindset. Fear is the
virus of the mind planted to separate us from Love and destroys the
Trust we inherently were born with, getting us further into Separation
activating Control as the seemingly only optional response to survive.
Trust is broken by Control, Control is designed to plant the seed of Fear,
leaving the individual with the disease of the heart, in other words a
broken heart and no compassion for himself/herself or others. This
serves the purpose of the model of patriarchy. It is easy to control people
who lost compassion for themselves because they were not given the
gift of compassion from their elders. According to Dr. Alice Miller, Hitler
could have not done what he did if he didn’t have a whole generation of
German boys raised in patriarchy supporting him...Herman Hesse the
German master in literature talks a lot about that.
I always say that compassion is the glue to oneness and if you don’t
have it for yourself you will not have it for others. Same as Trust. It
starts with Trust. It starts with YOU.
This is why restoring trust activates compassion inside out and is the
number one most effective and impactful thing to do now for each
one of us if we want to change the world .
When people realize that change comes from within and ask me what is
the little grain of sand they can plant inside of themselves that will
contribute to changing the world outside in an effective way, I always
Restore Trust ! First in your SELF and then in Humanity much so
that every particle of your cellular body becomes capable of modeling
its Powerful Meaning to guide each other in the path of remembering
our way back to LOVE AND ONENESS... from fear and separation.
The thing is, it is not possible to reach
our full potential in separation, it’s
divine nature soars only in Oneness.

The Medrano's Legacy

What GALA Theatre Means to our Community

           GALA Theatre is a local treasure. For close to 50 years Hugo & Rebecca Medrano have fulfilled their passion for bringing the performing arts to the Latino community of the Washington metropolitan area. Rebecca's ceaseless passion for organizing and Hugo's exquisite esthetic for the mise-en-scene have created a community masterpiece, the crown jewel of the creative arts for Spanish speaking Washington. 

Michelle Obama's Profile in Courage

           In these trying times with so much upheaval, where negative and tragic news seem to continually bombard us on so many levels, it was uplifting and inspiring to hear the remarks of ex-First Lady Michelle Obama on the dangers of depression in our lives; how difficult it is to maintain our hope and mental health as we look toward an uncertain and feral future. With her usual eloquence and elegance she described what she termed, 'low-grade' depression, and how it affects our lives. It felt very much like a bellwether in the storm; calm, soothing and wise.

Twitter posts show that people are profoundly sad – and are visiting parks to cheer up

Joe Roman, University of Vermont and Taylor Ricketts, University of Vermont

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the “happiness” of people’s words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Parents with children forced to do school at home are drinking more

Susan Sonnenschein, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Elyse R. Grossman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

We found that parents who are stressed by having to help their children with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic drink seven more drinks per month than parents who do not report feeling stressed by distance learning. These stressed parents are also twice as likely to report binge drinking at least once over the prior month than parents who are not stressed, according to our results. Binge drinking, which varies by gender, is when women consume at least four, or men have at least five alcoholic beverages (which includes beer, wine, or liquor) within a couple hours of each other.

COVID-19 Unmasks Inequality in Health Care, Economics and Criminal Justice Among Youths

This is the first in a two-part series about low- and moderate-income youth. Part two will focus on the efforts of youth serving organizations in a COVID-19 world.

Events in 2020 are exposing deep-seated inequality in our systems: the COVID-19 pandemic revealed inequality in our health care system, the ensuing financial fallout revealed the inequality in our economic system, and recently, the malicious killing of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers renewed the focus on a racist and classist criminal justice system.

How DC Mayor Bowser used graffiti to protect public space


Rebekah Modrak, University of Michigan

When President Donald Trump sent heavily armed federal law enforcement officers and unidentified officers in riot gear into Washington, D.C. during the height of protests recently, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser responded by painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” directly on the street leading to the White House.

While many spoke of it as a daring political act, for artists like me, it was also an act of urban intervention, an artistic act intended to transform an existing structure or institution, that reclaimed public space back for the public. And she accomplished this with little physical matter at all.

Her action – expressing dissent by marking an oppressive environment – references graffiti, which has been called the “language of the ignored.”

Art scholars note that most types of graffiti are meant to claim or reclaim territory by those who are systematically excluded. “Writers” often work quickly and at night, when they are less likely to be seen and arrested for painting on others’ property without consent.

Bowser’s action would likely be considered vandalism if not for the fact that it was carried out by the city’s Department of Public Works, using city funds. She wielded municipal services as artistic tools to condemn another state-sanctioned action, the violence perpetrated against Black people.

jonetta rose barras: COVID-19 and the arts — past and future — in DC

With Mayor Muriel Bowser set to begin reopening DC after the city’s weekslong closure amid a public health emergency, there are legitimate concerns about the future of our arts and culture industry, including artists and other personnel. Much attention has been paid during this pandemic to the plight of hotels, restaurants and small businesses. However, for the uninformed, nonprofit arts organizations are also businesses. They seem to have been treated as superfluous institutions or fillers to the economy.
They are much more than that, explained George Koch, who has been a leader in the arts and creative economy movement for more than 30 years. He argued the “theater industry” and the “performance industry” are “two important drivers that bring people to a community.”

Uprisings after pandemics have happened before – just look at the English Peasant Revolt of 1381

In this 1470 illustration, the radical priest John Ball galvanizes the rebels. The British Library

Susan Wade, Keene State College

As a professor of medieval Europe, I’ve taught the bubonic plague, and how it contributed to the English Peasant Revolt of 1381. Now that America is experiencing widespread unrest in the midst of its own pandemic, I see some interesting similarities to the 14th-century uprising.

The death of George Floyd has sparked protests fueled by a combination of brutal policing, a pandemic that has led to the loss of millions of jobs and centuries of racial discrimination and economic inequality.

“Where people are broke, and there doesn’t appear to be any assistance, there’s no leadership, there’s no clarity about what is going to happen, this creates the conditions for anger, rage, desperation and hopelessness,” African American studies scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor told The New York Times.

Medieval England may seem far removed from modern America. And sure, American workers aren’t tied to employers by feudal bonds, which meant that peasants were forced to work for their landowners. Yet the Peasant Revolt was also a reaction brought on by centuries of oppression of society’s lowest tiers.

And like today, the majority of wealth was held by an elite class that comprised about 1% of the population. When a deadly disease started to spread, the most vulnerable and powerless were asked the pick up the most slack, while continuing to face economic hardship. The country’s leaders refused to listen.

Eventually, the peasants decided to fight back.

5 ways eating in a pandemic is improving your relationship with food – and why you should stick with them

In some households, children have been learning to cook and bake while parents are home during the pandemic. Catherine Delahaye via Getty Images

Stephanie Meyers, Boston University

It’s 5 p.m. on who can tell which day, and instead of rushing from work to kids’ activities, I’m unpacking a box of produce while my 7-year-old peels carrots beside me. Rather than grab what we can from the fridge on the way to soccer practice, my family is all sitting down together to a homemade vegetarian meal. On the menu tonight: cauliflower lentil tacos.

Before you get the wrong impression that everything’s going swimmingly at my house, it’s not. But as a registered dietitian and a mom, I’m noticing a few noteworthy patterns amid the pandemic, both in my own family and in what my clients report every day. Some of these food-related behavior changes have the potential to become new habits with long-term benefits. Here are five eating-related behaviors I hope endure beyond the pandemic.


$50 feeds one person for 2 weeks
$100 feeds a family for a month
$300 feeds a family for 3 months

            Our Immigrant Food Project has already begun and the first gift certificates are being distributed as you read this.

            Our construction companies have been blessed that most are still working. Let's be generous and help those who are struggling to cover basic expenses and have nowhere to go for help.

            We have raised $3,000 over the past week and have another $3.5 committed. Our goal is to feed 100 families for 3 months, so we still have a ways to go.

Este experiodista de Radio Martí fue un luchador de campana a campana. Ahora nos dijo adiós para siempre

por Luis F. Sánchez Especial/el Nuevo Herald

Para Hugo Marino Romero no había imposibles. La palabra desafío era como un imán para su audacia. Su gran curiosidad y entrega le permitieron transitar sin sobresaltos del linotipo a la computadora. Era optimista, luchador y tenaz, como un boxeador de campana a campana. En la madrugada del miércoles último dejó de existir por un paro cardíaco en Miami y el 25 de abril hubiese cumplido 80 años de edad.
Durante cerca de 20 años integró el plantel de periodistas de Radio Martí, primero en Washington, D.C. y luego en Miami, cuando la agencia mudó sus operaciones a esta ciudad. También colaboró con el Nuevo Herald de 1980 a 1985, entre otras muchas labores que realizó.

How to Prepare a 'Guiso de Lentejas' (Lentil Stew)

            Given the time we all now have at home, cooking has become a central activity for most of us. Among the many dishes I prepare is a lentil stew whose recipe was handed down to me by my mother (and I have now handed it down to my son!). It's a pretty free form recipe that depends on whatever ingredients you have around the house, but it was a distinctively Galician recipe I learned from my mother and have embellished over time. When I prepare it for me and perhaps one other person, it can last 3 or 4 days. When my son is around we don't mind eating it for a few meals. So let me share the recipe with everyone here.

The Agony and Exquisite Ecstasy of GALA's Latest Production

            The current production of "Exquisite Agony" is a dense, searing, original play expertly written and directed by the current prodigy of the American theatre world, Nilo Cruz. It's difficult to imagine how this author sat down and attempted to write a story about a man who has a heart transplant and the donor's wife who becomes obsessed with the man who has the new heart and wants to attribute to him the characteristics of her dead husband. Although the themes are universal; the fear of death, the longing for lost love, the difficult diva. the abuse of unloved children in a dysfunctional marriage, the theatrical device to express these themes is oddly served by the story of a heart transplant.  

GALA Receives 8 Helen Hayes Awards Nominations!

Washington, DC – GALA Hispanic Theatre has received eight nominations for the 2020 Helen Hayes Awards, which celebrate excellence in professional theatre in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. FAME The Musical received 7 nominations, and The Old Man, the Youth, and the Sea received one nomination.

GALA Theatre's next show opens February 6th

            Exquisite Agony           
Written and directed by Nilo Cruz, this poignant and witty story explores a woman's obsessive quest to find the recipient of her late husband’s heart. Her journey of self-discovery will unleash emotions and revel dark family secrets that will change their lives. Nilo Cruz Returns to GALA Triumphant

             Exquisita Agonía
Escrita y dirigida por Nilo Cruz, esta conmovedora e ingeniosa historia explora la obsesión de una mujer en la búsqueda del joven a quien se le trasplantara el corazón de su esposo. Su camino de auto-descubrimiento desatará emociones y revelará oscuros secretos familiares que cambiarán sus vidas. Nilo Cruz Returns to GALA Triumphant

A Trip to the Spain of my Dreams

            This summer I'm making a trip to Spain with a few select friends. I'm calling it my Spanish 'dream' journey and invite those of you interested to come along. Let me share the highlights with you.

            The trip is planned for August 14th thru 28th, precisely 14 days and 13 nights. The journey starts with 6 nights in Galicia, on the rugged northwestern coast of Spain above Portugal with the best seafood in the world, a breathtaking coastline and dozens of beautiful beaches with cold, rich waters that chill the body and refresh the soul!


Eddie PalmieriJust a couple of weeks ago, on Sunday, December 9th, I was able to attend a jazz concert in Baltimore at the new Keystone Corner Jazz Club and listen to the incomparable Eddie Palmieri and his Jazz Sextet. It happened to be the day of Eddie's 83 birthday and he was in fine spirits and even better form. We celebrated together backstage since my good friend, Rene Lopez, a close Eddie friend for more than 40 years, had come down from NYC to attend the concert as well.
Eddie Palmieri is the last remaining great salsa and Latin Jazz planer of the golden era of New York salsa. Gone is his brother Charlie Palmieri, Machito, Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, all great musicians who lit up the salsa scene from New York City from the early 50's through the new century. Palmieri remains a working musician who tours with his Sextet. He also performs with his big band salsa orchestra when the occasion permits and continues to travel the world (he is booked here in DC in June of 2020).Jonathan Powell He has surrounded himself with a tight, highly skilled group that includes the gifted trumpet player Jonathan Powell and saxophonist Luis Fouché, he of Late Show with Colbert fame. His percussionists are always famous top of the line guys (Jerry Rivero and Luisito Quintero in this case) and his offerings mostly self compositions. He began the evening with a jazz version of 'Adoracion', one of his most classic tunes and extended into a piano solo riff that all of us who know the tune and follow his music could understand and relate to. The group played everything from bossa nova to Cal Tjader and Thelonious Monk.
Louis FouchéIt was my second visit to the Keystone Corner Club (both times to see Eddie) and we were very pleased to see a thriving new jazz club down in the new neighborhood of Baltimore they call Harbor East. Palmieri is one of those 'swinging' music legends like Tony Bennett or Willie Nelson who just dazzles the public with his virtuosity, joy and sense of humor eon stage.
Eddie recently put out an album with Gilberto Santarosa and Carlos Santana. Still going strong, with a fabulous sense of humor and strong chops, it's a wonder to just watch him play. Generations of Puerto Ricans were influenced by his recordings such as; 'Muñeca', 'Vamonos P'al Monte', 'Nada de Ti', 'Oyelo que te Conviene' and many, many more. Music that has defined our times as Latinos living in the U.S.


           Paso Nuevo, GALA’s Youth Program, is proud to present Intimate Revelations/Revelaciones Íntimas, an evening of original works on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8 pm at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Intimate Revelations explores the feelings, problems, and idiosyncrasies that occur in the daily lives of our youth. Performed for the public in English and Spanish, the presentation is a culmination of a three-month intensive performing arts training program provided by GALA. Admission is free.

           “Paso Nuevo,” states Paso Nuevo director Guadalupe Campos, “has provided a safe space for Latinx and multi- cultural youth to engage in creative writing, movement, and performance workshops, and learn about the technical, production, and administrative aspects of theater. For more than a quarter of a century, the youth participants have used their creativity to explore issues they and the community face. The fall semester had over 50 participants and 43 of them are participating in Intimate Revelations.”

           “Intimate Revelations,” Campos added, “is the result of the dedication and countless hours of work by Paso Nuevo participants. In a world that is often stacked against them, they choose to channel their emotions and energy into art filled with laughter, love and Latinx pride.”

           “I continue to be amazed and proud of the creativity of the participants in GALA’s Paso Nuevo youth program. They demonstrate how the arts can truly transform lives,” comments Jackie Reyes, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, which provides ongoing support for Paso Nuevo. “We celebrate their commitment as young leaders in their schools and community to grapple with issues that affect us all.”

           GALA Theatre is located at 3333 14th Street, NW in Washington, DC. Parking is available behind the theater in the Giant Food garage on Park Road, NW. The theater is one block north of the Columbia Heights Metro station on the Yellow and Green lines. For more information, call 202-234-7174 or visit



           The GALA Paso Nuevo Youth Program is an intensive performing arts program that immerses participants in writing, acting, dance, and music classes. Skilled teaching artists guide students ages 13-18 through the process of creating a performance, starting with an idea, through the rehearsal process, and concluding with tech week and opening night. Through exposure to a wide range of artistic practices, students explore issues of identity and cultural differences, articulate their values, increase self-esteem, and gain bilingual skills that will enhance their academic performance and future career opportunities.

Iré - A Cuban Smorgasbord

There is an exuberance of talent in the cabaret; "We Have Iré", showcased this past weekend at GALA Theatre. An abundance of powerful artists who dance, sing, recite poetry, perform hip-hop, play jazz and timba and typical Cuban music... A dizzying whirlwind of rich, cascading voices. It was almost too tiring to watch.

quotedirectorThe project originates with Paul Flores, a west coast Cuban poet at the heart of the concept. It revolves around two stories one of a Cuban woman and family trying to escape the island and the other of a Cuban émigré returning home. Add to that a 'kick-ass' jazz band headed by the incomparable Yosvany Terry, a major Cuban contemporary jazz artist; Christin Eve Cato a soulful sister who sang 2 beautiful ballads, DJ Leydis who transforms into the Goddess Yemaya and a sexy, provocative dance group that does a mix of Cuban folk dance, modern jazz and Brazilian capoeira. Oh, and did I mention Ramon Ramos Alayo and Denmis Bain Savigne who very capably danced and recited. Whew! So much stuff!

With less than one half of the show presented here at GALA on Friday and Saturday night you could build a full Broadway musical. It was too much!! Just when you enjoyed a sax solo from Yosvany it was gone. When Ms. Cato finished her ballad you wanted to hear another. When Paul Flores spoke of his experiences you wanted him to slow down and tell you more. When you watched the dance numbers you wanted them not to stop.

The Director, Rosalba Rolon has some experience with this type of show. It is similar to the recent, 'Dancing in my Cockroach Killers' which premiered at GALA that she directed a while back. 'Iré' seems to me to be in need of some editing, perhaps a few less intriguing talents and a more focused approach. Mind you it was a glorious fun filled night and this reviewer enjoyed himself immensely, but there were too many loose strings, you couldn't take them all in.
Am always so amazed at the versatility and challenges GALA Theatre takes on. They are truly becoming a National Performing Center. 'Iré' follows a week of movies from Latin America and in less than a month comes the traditional 3 Kings celebration. The Theatre is always on the move and deeply involved in the community.

It's such a shame that more people don't know about GALA and don't attend. It is a cultural jewel here in the nation's capital and produces enough enjoyment for one to visit more than 36 times a year. We should begin a 'Fundme' campaign to raise money for GALA so they can market their product stronger and farther. This theatre is glorious!


The Legacy of Casa Patas at GALA Theater Flamenco at its Finest

It has been 15 years now since the experiment of presenting, on a yearly basis, the finest flamenco in the world began at GALA Theater in Washington DC. Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas, the renown center for the study and promotion of the authentic expression of flamenco, has been at the center of this initiative from the very beginning. This Madrid based foundation is among the most serious and dedicated preservationists of the folkloric music of Andalusia. The study of the art form is limited to a few highly distinguished performance sites throughout Madrid, Barcelona and southern Spain. The roots of the music trace back to Moorish Africa, gypsy populations of eastern Europe and the Middle East and as far as India. Each year the Casa Patas performing group tours the United States and Latin America with performances that test the limits of flamenco expression and expand the range and artistry of the music.
On this tour the performers, led by Director / Choreographer and dancer Rafael Peral, dig deep into the origins of the music with a traditional ensemble that includes a female dancer, guitarist, two singers and a percussionist. In prior journeys to the new world the Casa Patas ensemble has included violin, clarinetist, saxophonist and multiple and sundry percussion players. This year "Raiz de 4", title of the performance, is a much more classic and basic flamenco ensemble, one you might find in the 'tablaos' of Madrid, Seville or Cadiz.
There are, nevertheless, interesting features to this latest work. What "Raiz de 4" does is pare back flamenco to its most basic elements and break them down. Each performance within the show highlights a different aspect of this beautifully passionate, emotional and inspiring music. They begin the show with two dancers swaying and swirling to the guitar, the singers and percussionist. They proceed with a solo guitar performance and then the 2 singers and percussionist take turns at their own solos. Mr. Peral returns by himself doing a breath taking pieces without the singers and then Marisa Adame, the female dancer, performs alone on the stage as well. Then at the end of the show all of these elements are fused back together once again and the company leaves the stage in one boisterous, cheering finale.
The presentations of flamenco at GALA Theater, including its own repertory company headed by the remarkable Edwin Aparicio, represent a rare and highly qualified opportunity to preserve and present the artistry of flamenco to local audiences. They enrich and amplify Spanish culture and make Washington DC what it is, a truly international urban center. It is a remarkable effort achieved under great strain. GALA not only stretches to bring a company such as Casa Patas to Washington DC, but through its local work attempts to popularize the art form in our community. The partnership with Casa Patas guarantees a top quality result.

'Pepe' El Polifacético Lujan, Hijo de Nuestra Comunidad

Pocas son las personas que se identifican en la imaginación popular por un solo nombre como por ejemplo, Messi' o 'Madonna'. En el pueblo de Washington DC, y en particular el barrio de Adams Morgan, por los últimos 50 años con decir 'Lujan', o simplemente 'Pepe', ya todos; blancos, Afro-Americanos y Latinos, sabían que se trataba del inconfundible Pedro Lujan.
Ha muerto nuestro Pepe!
Era hijo de Peru, pero en realidad era un padre nuestro. Trajo a toda su primera familia desde Perú a DC y empezó otra aquí. Era hombre de familia. Convivió con nosotros en el barrio capitalino de Adams Morgan gran parte de su vida. Compró casa en la Calle Lanier, abrió su primer comercio, la heladería 'The Scoop' en la calle 18, estuvo entre los fundadores de la Corporación Latina de Desarrollo Económico (también situada en la calle 18) y por unos años fue el dueño del famoso Café Avignone Freres en Columbia Road. Y por supuesto su inolvidable (y larga) temporada frente a Havana Village, también en Columbia Road.
Pero sobre todo en un principio asistió a Sonia Gutierrez en el Programa de Instrucción en Ingles para Latino Americanos (PEILA por sus siglas en Ingles) lo cual se convertiría en la Escuela Rosario del día de hoy. Ayudar a la población Hispana a superarse a través de la educación sería quizás el legado más importante de su vida. Sin embargo, Pepe era un hombre polifacético.
Lujan dedicó buena parte de su vida a la obra social. Fue de los mejores 'organizadores' que se hayan visto en esta ciudad. En los años 70, te llenaba un salón o una protesta en la calle con cientos de personas en cuestión de horas. Fue la mano derecha de Carlos Rosario, el primer gran líder de esta comunidad, y compañero y amigo de todos los líderes Latinos de su tiempo. Pepe ha sido instrumental en los movimientos pro-Hispanos de DC. Incluso, a nivel internacional, fue operativo de la campaña de Mario Vargas Llosa en Estados Unidos cuando corrió para Presidente de Perú, tal era su valor como organizador. En un tiempo, Pedro y su esposa Jeannie fueron representantes del Cuerpo de Paz en Costa Rica. Lujan fue exitoso a todos los niveles.
Pepe también fue un gran empresario. No solo su compañía de construcción, su heladería, Avigñon, Hellers Bakery, etc., pero su tiempo al frente de lo que es todavía el 'night club' Latino preeminente del barrio de Adams Morgan; Havana Village. Por cerca de 15 años casi todos los fines de semana a Pepe se le encontraba en una mesa frente a la puerta donde llegaban un sin número de amigos, compañeros de negocio, lideres políticos y personalidades comunitarias a tomarse un trago o discutir algún proyecto, pedir consejo o referencias o simplemente reírse con el gran Pepe y bailar salsa en el segundo piso. Havana Village, como Avignone anteriormente, se hizo el sitio más reconocido y famoso de la noche Latina en DC!
Mi amistad, y mis choques, con Lujan empezaron desde un principio cuando yo era Director del Centro de la Juventud. A veces tosco -y terco- Pepe siempre se comportó con honor, honestidad e integridad conmigo. Muchas son las referencias que me hizo y los consejos y apoyo que me dio. No puedo contar la cantidad de cafés, mojitos, ceviches, pasteles y helados que me tomé con él. Siempre amable y jocoso, Pepe fue un gran amigo y lo he de extrañar el resto de mi vida.
Grande Pepe, ahora a discutir con los ángeles y ver el legado de tus acciones y los éxitos de tu familia. Lo hiciste bien "Cholo". Siempre te recordaremos. Tu muerte trae a mi mente un verso de Machado:

"Algunas veces encuentras en la vida una amistad especial:
ese alguien que al entrar en tu vida la cambia por completo.
Ese alguien que te hace reír sin cesar;
Ese alguien que te hace creer que en el mundo existen realmente cosas buenas.
Ese alguien que te convence de que hay una puerta lista para que tú la abras.
Esa es una amistad eterna..."

Festival Fuego Flamenco en Teatro GALA

6 de noviembre de 2019 (Washington, DC).– El Teatro GALA prosigue su poderosa temporada 20192020 con la décimo quinta edición del Festival Fuego Flamenco, que expone a excepcionales artistas de España y los Estados Unidos en Washington, DC. Reconocido por presentar figuras estelares en un ambiente íntimo que recuerda al tablao, el festival tendrá lugar del 7 al 17 de noviembre en el Teatro GALA, ubicado en el 3333 de la Calle 14, noroeste, a una cuadra de la estación de Metro Columbia Heights (líneas verde/amarilla). Hay disponibilidad de estacionamiento por solo $4 en el garaje del Supermercado Giant en la Park Road.

Con el valioso apoyo de sus productores honoríficos Lynne y Joseph Horning, Fuego Flamenco XV explora el flamenco tradicional, y su amplitud y diversidad, a través de expresiones contemporáneas. El programa de este año incluye: el espectáculo Entresueño de Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company; y el estreno en los Estados Unidos de Raíz de 4, con coreografía e interpretación de Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame, y presentada en colaboración con la Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas de Madrid, España. Entresueño es una nueva versión del aclamado trabajo que representa los elementos esenciales del ser a través del flamenco, mientras Raíz de 4 evoca las raíces del flamenco y sus diversas expresiones.

El programa también abarca el evento gratuito para niños y familias Flamenco en Familia, una demostración interactiva sobre diversos aspectos del flamenco, el 9 de noviembre a las 11 am y 1:30 pm; así como la presentación especial para estudiantes Colores de Flamenco, a cargo de Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company los días 6, 7 y 8 de noviembre a las 10:30 am.

La Noche de Prensa y Recepción para Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company es el viernes 8 de noviembre; y para Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame es el viernes 15 de noviembre.

El Festival Fuego Flamenco XV es posible gracias al apoyo de Lynne y Joseph Horning, la Embajada de España en Washington, D.C., SPAIN arts & culture, Maggio & Kattar, la Comisión para las Artes y Humanidades de DC y el Hotel Normandy.


Fuego Flamenco XV inicia con Entresueño, por la Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company. Entresueño se estrenó en GALA en el 2006, antes de su gira nacional. En esta nueva versión, la compañía explora los sueños como un medio desinhibido para la psicodinámica, un estado en el que el soñador puede desasociarse y experimentar el ser a través de sus fuerzas compuestas, haciendo del entresueño no solo un estado de transición si no también un diálogo entre lo consciente y lo inconsciente.

Dirigido por Edwin Aparicio y Aleksey Kulikov, Entresueño presenta a Aparicio, curador del Festival Anual Fuego Flamenco de GALA, y los bailarines Norberto Chamizo, Alex Milton, y Jeanne D’Arc Casas; a los cantantes Francisco Orozco “Yiyi” y José Cortés; al guitarrista y compositor Richard “Ricardo” Marlow, y a José Moreno en la percusión.

Las funciones son el jueves 7, viernes 8 y sábado 9 de noviembre a las 8 pm, y el domingo 10 a las 2 pm.

Edwin Aparicio (Coreógrafo, Co-director y Bailaor) se formó con los renombrados maestros de flamenco Tomás de Madrid y La Tati, haciendo su debut en la legendaria Casa Patas de Madrid en el 2001. Aparicio se presentó varias veces con la Washington National Opera en el Kennedy Center, incluida su más reciente producción de Carmen, y participó en la obra Hemmingway The Sun Also Rises con el Ballet de Washington (2013). Se ha presentado como solista en todo Estados Unidos, con grupos como el de José Greco Spanish Dance Company, y compartió escenario con las celebridades internacionales Elena Andújar, Carmela Greco, Pastora Galván, La Tati, Ana Martínez y José Luis Rodríguez.

Edwin es el director artístico y coreógrafo de 12 aclamadas producciones, incluyendo “Íntimo” con Carmela Greco, la cual se presentó en Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh y Portland; “Entresueño”, la cual marcó su debut como director en Nueva York; y “Flamenco Flamenca”, también presentada en el Instituto Cervantes de Chicago. Es el co-fundador y artista del festival anual de GALA Fuego Flamenco; forma parte de la facultad de la Escuela de Ballet de Washington y fue nombrado uno de los “25 bailaores a ver” por la Revista Dance en el 2009. Aparicio recibió el Premio Protagonista en el 2012 por parte de GALA por sus logros y contribuciones a la comunidad latina, y le fue impuesta la Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil del Rey Felipe VI de España en el 2015.

Aleksey Kulikov (Co-director) inició estudios de danza a los 9 años en Kiev, Ucrania. Formado en danza de salón, participó en competencias a escala semi-profesional y se presentó con un grupo infantil de danza de salón hasta que emigró a los Estados Unidos en 1996. Poco después, estudió flamenco con Natalia Monteleón y viajó a España, donde se preparó en Granada con "La Presy" y en Sevilla con José Galván. También estudió con "La Tati," Carmela Greco, Manuel Liñán, Domingo Ortega y Edwin Aparicio. Kulikov ha bailado flamenco en diversos teatros en el área de DC, incluyendo el Millennium Stage del Kennedy Center, y en las producciones “Yerma” y Flamenco Deconstructed de Edwin Aparicio en GALA. Junto a su esposo Edwin, Aleksey ha co-dirigido “One Plus One” (2013), “Flamenco Men II” (2015), “Salvador” (2016), y “Flamenco Extranjero” (2017).

Richard “Ricardo” Marlow (Director musical, compositor, arreglista, guitarrista) fue iniciado en la guitarra por su padre, el eminente guitarrista clásico John E. Marlow. Diplomado por la Escuela de Música James Madison, estudió guitarra flamenca con el maestro Gerardo Núñez en Sanlúcar de

Barrameda, en España. Se ha presentado con la Compañía de Flamenco Danza del Río, Ana Martínez y Paco de Málaga, Anna Menéndez y la Compañía de Arte Flamenco. El señor Marlow también participó en las producciones de Edwin Aparicio Uno más Uno, Bailes Inéditos, Encuentros, Íntimo y Flamenco Men II, donde compartió el escenario con Jesús Montoya, Alfonso Cid, “La Truco” y Carmela Greco. Participó también en “El amor Brujo”, de Manuel de Falla con la Baltimore Symphony Orchestra en Strathmore y la Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall en Baltimore; y en Hemmingway: The Sun Also Rises por el Washington Ballet, en el Kennedy Center.


Fuego Flamenco XV continúa con el estreno en los Estados Unidos de Raíz de 4, presentada en colaboración con la Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas. Esta imaginativa pieza de flamenco está coreografiada e interpretada por Rafael Peral y Marisa Adame, quienes hacen su debut en Washington, DC. Dirigida por el Sr. Peral, la producción tiene como director musical y guitarrista a José Almarcha; los cantantes Trini de la Isla y José del Calli; y a Epi Pacheco en la percusión.

Las funciones son el jueves14, viernes 15 y sábado 16 de noviembre a las 8 pm, y el domingo 17 a las 2 pm.

Raíz de 4 ahonda las más primitivas raíces del flamenco, evocando las convergencias de culturas del folclore de España. La esencia del flamenco -romances, martinetes, fandangos y soleares- son la base de esta presentación, con un impresionante despliegue interpretativo de sus talentosos artistas que transmiten un genuino amor por este arte.

Rafael Peral (Coreógrafo, director y bailarín) hace su debut en GALA. Nacido en Barcelona (España), comenzó su carrera con José de la Vega; fue miembro de la Compañía de Antonio Gades, donde interpreto el rol del “toro” en Torero; participó en Gitano y Bengue, dirigido por Luis Pascual, y fue artista invitado en la producción Serranito, dirigida por Víctor Monge. También ha bailado con las compañías de flamenco de María Pagé, Guito y Manolete, Adrián Galia, Eva la Yerbabuena, Sara Baras, Juan Andrés Maya, y con El Flamenco Vive. Se ha presentado en notables escenarios de España y Tokyo. Junto con Marisa Adame, ha creado Jonda Emoción y Raíz de 4, que se estrenó en el Teatro Nacional de Algiers y presentado sucesivamente en Orán, Constantine y Madrid. El Sr. Peral tiene un diploma en danza española del Conservatorio Profesional de Danza del Instituto del Teatro de Barcelona, y se ha entrenado con maestros como El Toleo, La Tani, La Chana, Manolo Marín y Antonio Canales, entre otros.

Marisa Adame (Coreógrafa, bailarina) nació en Barcelona (España) y ha bailado en Carmen, con la Compañía de Danza-Teatro de Luis Dávila, y como solista en Romeo y Julieta; en Los Tarantos, con la compañía de José Greco; Juana la Loca y Sueños en la Compañía de Sara Baras; Mis Recuerdos y De Madrid a Sevilla en la Compañía de flamenco de El Guito; y 4 Estaciones en la Compañía de Danza Flamenca. Con Rafel Peral creó los espectáculos Jonda Emoción y Raíz de 4. La Sra. Adame ha actuado en números tablaos de España y El Flamenco en Tokyo. Ha recibido el Primer Premio en la Competición de Coreografía de Madrid por su trabajo en Color Danza Española y tiene un diploma en danza española del Conservatorio Profesional del Instituto del Teatro de Barcelona. También se ha entrenado con maestros de flamenco como La Chana, Ciro, La Toná, Manolete, La China, La Yerbabuena, Javier de la Torre, y Adrián Galia.

Casas Patas es un tablao madrileño de renombre mundial que presenta el mejor y más auténtico flamenco en España. Grupos famosos y jóvenes talentos comparten algunas veces su escenario en memorables presentaciones. La Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas ha crecido tanto que hoy patrocina talleres, seminarios y exhibiciones que promueven el arte del flamenco alrededor del mundo. FLAMENCO EN FAMILIA

Flamenco en Familia es un evento gratuito de demostraciones interactivas sobre zapateo, castañuelas y abanicos flamencos, que se lleva a cabo el 9 de noviembre. La bailaora Sara Jerez y el guitarrista Ricardo Marlow, junto a otros artistas locales, realizan dos funciones: una de 11 am a 12 pm y otra de 1:30 a 2:30 pm en el Teatro GALA.


Los boletos regulares para Fuego Flamenco XV cuestan $45 para jueves, y $48 para sábado y domingo. Las entradas para adultos mayores (65+), estudiantes y militares tienen un precio de $30. Los boletos para las Noche de GALA los viernes 8 y 15 de noviembre cuestan $55 por persona y $95 por pareja. El Pase del Festival, que incluye un boleto para cada una de las producciones presentadas, cuesta $80. Para mayor información o adquirir entradas, llama al 202-234-7174 o visita

The Isle of Ons

Today I visit the Isle of Ons where they fish some of the richest, most savory seafood in the world along w/wonderful beaches and icy waters.

Dunas de Corrubedo

Yesterday visited the 'Dunas de Corrubedo' for the first time ever. The dunes are not of sand but rather grasses and pine forest. Stopped at a fishing port named Aguiño for lunch (some delicious 'pulpo a feira'). Although they didn't know it, the town was made famous by mystery writer Domingo Villar who writes Gallego mystery novels

My first evening in Galicia

My first evening in Galicia, ate at a little 'Chiringuito' on the beach. Couldn't resist the typical grilled sardines and Padron peppers (the real ones since I'm about 30 miles from Padron).

4 Outstanding Poets of Latin Music

Latin music is rich with great singers and composers. I'm partial to songs that combine personal or social poetry with complex rhythms and harmonies. In particular I admire and listen to four favorites who delight me over and over again, they are; Juan Luis Guerra, La Mari, Rosario and Ruben Blades.

Two Pioneering Dominicans in DC's Latino Community.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Caobas Foundation dinner and shared an evening with 2 of my favorite people. That evening Daniel Bueno received an award for his lifetime of achievements and Franklin Garcia, DC's Shadow Representative and its most active crusader for DC Statehood, was present as well. The picture that accompanies this feature was taken that evening.

Re-Build the Pool Already!

The East Potomac Park swimming pool is an outdoor, Olympic size pool used by families and lap swimmers since 1937. Located just across from the National Mall, near the Jefferson Memorial, I've used it for over 30 years. I would take my son and his friends there over the summer when they were kids. I also came to use it extensively during the summer for lap swimming as part of my weekly exercise routine. It was an important, vital part of my physical routine.

A Passion for Reading

I consider myself an avid reader. I keep a number of books open and usually read them late into the evening before bedtime. I have friends who've switched to kindle books on a computer screen, but it's my long established habit and a great pleasure to buy a real, printed manuscript, open the cover and begin reading.


I came late to tennis, only starting to play when my son was 11 years old. I had played the game only infrequently during most of my adulthood favoring soccer more than tennis. I was a soccer referee for 14 years and wanted to dedicate time to that, but at some point it didn't fit my schedule. Then I discovered the game of tennis. As the great writer David Foster Wallace said it is, 'the most beautiful sport there is'. At first I would compete with my son (he beats me regularly now when we get the chance to play), then gradually I began to play with friends and in 'leagues' at the courts in East Potomac Park and at Carter Barron.

New Look, New Purpose is a portal that represents the work, ideas and thoughts of Jose Sueiro and those who share common interests and curiosities. Together with partner and collaborator, Omar Cornelio, we've been posting to this site now for over 10 years.

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

            ¿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?


            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.


          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.

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.

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, 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

FOR TICKETS: Call (202) 234-7174, or visit

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.

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)

"Facebook is a Hell for Happy People" Gala's Latest Offering

La Foto: A Selfie Affair is a humorous and entertaining play that touches upon modern themes of technology, privacy, and internet relationships. The selfie, that ubiquitous and vain yet satisfying picture, is the catalyst for a series of events that ends a marriage, drives a daughter to leave her school in shame, and ruins a friendship.

La Foto / A Selfie Affair

“It’s not the world in your hands...It is you in the hands of the world”  

GALA Hispanic Theatre is proud to present the world premiere of the dark comedy La Foto by Gustavo Ott. Directed by Abel López,, La Foto is performed in Spanish with English surtitles from February 1 through February 25,
    “We are delighted to stage our seventh play by Gustavo Ott,” comments Hugo Medrano, GALA Producing Artistic Director and co-founder. “Full of zany characters who seek to navigate contemporary life and all of its absurdities, Ott’s work reflects on our humanity even as we laugh.”

FUEGO FLAMENCO XIII Innovative! Fiery! Mesmerizing!

Nov 3 – 12, 2017 Washington, D.C. – GALA Hispanic Theatre continues its 42st season with the thirteenth international Fuego Flamenco Festival that brings leading flamenco artists from Spain and the United States to Washington audiences. Recognized for the presentation of stellar artists in an intimate tablao setting, the festival will run from November 3 through November 12 at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, one block from the Columbia Heights metro station on the Green/Yellow lines. Parking is available behind the theater at the Giant Food garage for a rate of $4 with validation at GALA.

The Gastronomic Contextualization of Culture

- This rise in Spanish creativity has immigrated as well ... and America is starting to catch on.

José Andrés____

The simple meaning to this complex looking title is on display at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain (the mansion at 2801 16th St. NW) as part of a fascinating, month long exhibit titled: #EatSpainUp. Essentially what Spain Arts and Culture, the cultural arm of the Spanish Embassy, has done is present the plain, daily ingredients and elements of Spanish food in an exalted, artistic fashion complete with art exhibit, designer chats and culinary presentations at various Spanish restaurants around town.

The Graham Legacy

    I met him at the Whitman Walker Clinic sometime in the spring of 1997. In typical fashion he had contacted our Spanish language newspaper to ask if we were interested in writing a story about the work of Whitman Walker. They had already opened the Elizabeth Taylor annex across 14th St. three years earlier. Jim had been in the news and was becoming something of a celebrity in the city. The profile of WWC had been heightened and financially they were in the best shape of their 15 year history.

The Mastery of Flamenco/Jazz Pianist Chano Dominguez

Spain Arts and Culture closed out its performance season in Washington DC on Saturday, June 15, 2017 with a lively concert of flamenco tinged, Latin Jazz music with the consummate Spanish jazz pianist Chano Dominguez and his trio. This is the fourth jazz concert of the season at the charming, intimate, 'Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain', a long title for a  boutique performance venue that seats barely 100 people at a beautiful ballroom in the rehabilitated mansion along 16th St.
    Produced in collaboration with the DC Jazz Festival and followed by a question and answer session with the artist that was moderated by the inimitable Jim Byers, he of WPFW fame with his Latin Flavor Classic Edition program and his passion for vintage cars. Byers is perhaps the single most influential 'salsa' expert in town, a virtual cultural anthropologist of Caribbean music.

Getting Down In The Heights Latin Style

In The Heights En Español, directed by Luis Salgado, is a bilingual adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mid-2000’s original musical. Colorful, humorous, and at times somber, the play centers around the struggles and romances of a primarily Latino community in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Usnavi (played by Juan Luis Espinal) shoulders the legacy of his parents: a convenience store in “the barrio,” while looking after his younger cousin and his dear “abuela.” Meanwhile Nina (played by Laura Lebron) returns from Stanford to tell her parents that she lost her university scholarship. Once considered a star student, Nina deals with the guilt of having disappointed her parents and her community. Nina and Usnavi grapple with these issues while simultaneously pursuing their respective romantic passions. Usnavi musters up the courage to talk to “popular girl” Vanessa (played by Veronica Alvarez) who works at a beauty salon. Nina develops affection for Benny (Vaughn Ryan Midder), an African-American employee at Nina’s father’s Taxi/Limousine service.

Lilting Melodies, Ballads and Flamenco

I first met Javier Colina in one of those smoked filled jazz nightclubs in Madrid, don't remember if it was Cafe Central, Sala Clamores or the old Whiskey and Jazz. What is certain is I first heard him with Jerry Gonzalez, my friend the trumpet and conga player who has achieved iconic status in Spain as one of the finest jazz, or more specifically Latin Jazz, players on the Iberian peninsula.

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