Stage Talk by Carol Viescas
‘Young Frankenstein’ — UTEP Dinner Theatre, in the UTEP Student Union West building, has extended its production of the Mel Brooks musical comedy through Nov. 4. Show time is 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; non-dinner matinees are Sunday 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4. Tickets: $33.50 to $43.50 Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday discount dinner performances; $36.50 to $48.50 (Friday and Saturday dinner performances), and $19.50 to $29.50 no-dinner matinee performances (Ticketmaster). Information: 747-6060 or utep.edu/udt.
This musical re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows young Dr. Frankenstein and Igor as they attempt to create a monster, with scary and hilarious complications. Features memorable tunes such as “The Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” adding theatrical flair to the screen sensation. Includes some language and mature subject matter.
‘Super Scary’ — ACT (A Children’s Theatre) of Mesilla Valley presents the Halloween comedy for all ages at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Oct. 26-27, at Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall. Tickets: $7. Information: (575) 541-2290 or riograndetheatre.org.
“Fear! Horror! Terror!” That’s what the Storyteller wanted for his night of spooky tales. But everyone in the theater, including a vacuuming janitor and an audience member who really has to pee, keeps interrupting to share their own, less-than-chilling versions of the stories.
‘Witness! The Curiosity House Vol. II’ — Desert Ghouls Productions presents the immersive theatrical experience is 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, at El Paso Community College Valle Verde Campus Building C, Room 401 (Black Box) at 919 Hunter, with staged tales of horror including versions of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and “La Llorona,” and a curiosity museum for patrons to browse before the show. Admission is free. Information: email@example.com.
‘Las Brujas de Macbeth’ — Sapiens Sapiens Teatro Laboratorio of Mexico City presents the Spanish language performance inspired by the characters of witches in the tragedy of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday, Oct. 27-28, at Adobe Horseshoe Theatre, Main, in San Elizario. Admission: $46.95 Saturday dinner show; $24.95 non-dinner matinee Sunday. Parking lot is private. Information: 976-7077, AdobeHorseshoe.com or on Facebook.
‘Addams Family’ — Alamogordo Music Theatre’s presents the Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2-4 and Nov. 9-10 at the Flickinger Center, 1110 N. New York, in Alamogordo. Tickets: $12. Information: alamogordomusictheatre.org or on Facebook.
In the kooky, upside-down world of the Addams Family, the Addamses have lived by their unique values for hundreds of years and Gomez and Morticia, the patriarch and matriarch of the clan, would be only too happy to continue living that way. Their dark, macabre, beloved daughter Wednesday, however, is now an 18-year-old young woman, and has fallen in love with a normal boyfriend.
‘Moon Over Buffalo’ — El Paso High School’s Tiger Theatre Troupe presents the comedy by Ken Ludwig at 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1-4, at El Paso High School Auditorium, 800 E. Schuster. Admission: $7 ($5 students). Information: 236-2500 or msmossephs.weebly.com.
In the madcap comedy tradition of “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Moon Over Buffalo” centers on George and Charlotte Hay, fading stars of the 1950s. On the brink of a disastrous split-up caused by George’s dalliance with a young ingénue, they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom: Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee, and if he likes what he sees, he might cast them in his movie remake of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong does go wrong.
‘Jeckyll & Hyde’ — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, presents the play based on the Robert Lewis Stevenson horror classic through Nov. 3. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 ($12 seniors 62+, students, military; $9 12 and younger). Information: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
Los Payabrothers — The group will perform their Spanish-language comedy show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main, in Las Cruces. Suitable for ages 15 and older. Tickets: $15 ($12 for students and seniors over 65). Information: 328-9955.
Shakespeare on-the-Rocks — Shakespeare on-the-Rocks’ final performances for its 30th season are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, at Chamizal National Memorial, 800 S. San Marcial, featuring Hector Serrano’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with a pastiche of love-struck nobles, bumbling mechanicals, and mischievous fairies. Tickets: $10 ($8 for full-time students with valid id, seniors 65 and older, active military; $6 group rate, 10 or more. Information: 474-4275, firstname.lastname@example.org, shakespeareontherocks.com or on Facebook.
‘The Shape of Things’ — El Paso Community College Theater Ensemble presents the play by Neil Labute Nov. 9-18 at Transmountain Campus Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North, directed by Matthew Smith. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 ($10 non-EPCC students and military; $7 EPCC students and staff and senior citizens). Ages 7 and older only admitted. Reservations: 831-5056.
A nerdy English Literature major meets an attractive graduate art student at the local museum where he works. His life takes an unexpected turn.
‘Bocón’ — El Paso Community Foundation’s Jewel Box Series presents the one-act play by Los Actores at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Philanthropy Theatre (next to the Plaza Theatre) Tickets: $16 (Ticketmaster). Information: 533-4020 or epcf.org.
Hector Serrano directs Lisa Loomer’s play about a Central American boy whose parents are abducted, forcing him to flee to the United States. He loses his voice and encounters mythical characters and a dastardly coyote.
‘Inspecting Carol’ — American Southwest Theatre Company presents the wicked satire of ‘A Christmas Carol” by Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Co. Nov. 16-Dec. 2 at NMSU’s Center for the Arts in Las Cruces. Directed by Nichole Hamilton. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $17 ($14 seniors; $10 students; $5 high schools students with current I.D.) Tickets: (575) 646-41420 or nmsutheatre.com.
Behind the scenes of a struggling theater's annual slapdash production of “A Christmas Carol,” rehearsals are at a standstill. Tim is no longer Tiny, Scrooge wants to do the play in Spanish and their funding is on hold pending an inspection.
‘Farandula’ — The comedy by Jazz Villa Projects of Havana Cuba is 6 p.m. Saturday (in Spanish), and noon Sunday (in English), Nov. 17-18, at Adobe Horseshoe Theatre, Main, in San Elizario. The “tasty but dangerous” comedy uses the opening of a gallery as a pretext for the confluence of with interestingly conflicted lives. Admission: $46.95 Saturday dinner show; $24.95 non-dinner matinee Sunday. Parking lot is private. Information: 976-7077, AdobeHorseshoe.com or on Facebook.
‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, presents the family holiday comedy based on the Barbara Robinson book Nov. 30-Dec. 16. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 ($12 seniors 62+, students, military; $9 12 and younger). Information: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
‘Mary Poppins’ — Las Cruces Community Theatre, 313 N. Main in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall presents the musical based on the Disney movie Nov. 30-Dec. 16. Directed by Janet Beatty-Payne. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $15 ($12 students, seniors, military, $10 children under 12; $11 per ticket for groups of 10 or more). Information: (575) 523-1200 or lcctnm.org.
Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
‘The Snow Queen’ — Kids-N-Co. presents John Robledo’s original adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson story Nov. 30-Dec. 16, at First Presbyterian Church, 1340 Murchison, directed by Raul Chavez. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $7 ($5 children, students, senior citizens, military), available at the door. Information: 274-8797 or on Facebook at El Paso Kids-n-Co.
El Paso Playhouse auditions — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, hosts these auditions for upcoming shows. Information, audition times: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
• Dec. 2-3: “And the Winner Is.” Shows run Jan. 18-27.
• Dec. 9-10: “Always a Bridesmaid.” Shows run Feb. 8-24.
Current events make ‘Bocón’ still relevant
"Bocón,” the latest show at the Philanthropy Theater, fulfills one of theater’s main jobs — to be relevant to what is happening around us.
To see the relevance, one only needs to look at the tent city in Tornillo filled with children who came from countries south of us to escape death and poverty.
The one-act play by Lisa Loomer was written decades ago, but what is old is new again, said director Hector Serrano.
“It tells the story of a boy from a Latin American country where they have a lot of problems,” Serrano said. “His parents want to save the child, so they save money to send him north. He has a lot of problems on his way here. People take his money. But he finally gets here.”
Although this updated version of the show has a happy ending, Serrano said, “it shows the problems immigrant children go through because they don’t have their parents. It was written in the ‘70s, but the situation has gotten worse because of the administration we have now.”
UTEP grad Raul Chavez reprises the role of Miguel he did three years ago in a student production. Aide Rodriguez also returns to the show for the second time (she was part of the show Serrano did in the ‘90s at EPCC) as part of the seven-person ensemble, playing a number of parts. Rounding out the cast are actors, Serrano said, he recruited from the Shakespeare on the Rocks series: Victor Perez, Amanda Torres, Elizabeth Garcia, and James Gould. The one-act, he added, is perfectly suited for the tiny Philanthropy stage because if the small ensemble cast.
Because Shakespeare is in the middle of its repertory, Serrano said getting everyone together for a rehearsal has been difficult. But he’s happy the show is part of the Philanthropy Theater Jewel Box series because it will get a different audience than the students and community theatergoers who have seen it in the past.
The show is bilingual, but is primarily English, Serrano said. The Spanish is incidental to add the flavor. He said he is pleased the city is promoting bilingual theater and has become aware of the need for bilingual theater.
Of course, Serrano, who founded Los Pobres Theater with Joan Quarm in 1969, and has directed 250-plus shows since, has been promoting bilingual theater for half a century. Like the theme of “Bocón,” what is old is new again.
The theme, he said, is very meaningful for this particular year. “It’s from the child’s point of view. The child wants to make it to the City of Angels. He literally looks for angels.”
One of the most powerful scenes, Serrano said, is when young Miguel comes before the judge. “Miguel asks him where his parents came from. The judge answers that they came here, too. It is very powerful. If people listen to it, it touches their heart.”
Carol Viescas is a veteran of
community theater and teaches
journalism at Bel Air High School.
El Paso Community Foundation’s Jewel Box Series presents “Bocón” by Los Actores at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Philanthropy Theatre (next to Plaza
Feature storyCopyright 2018 by Cristo Rey Communications.
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