Theatre Preview — April 27, 2018
Theatre contributor Joey Landwehr joined Good Morning San Diego to talk about some plays showing this weekend around San Diego.
Old Globe Theatre
Spending her days caring for her ailing mother, Lucha yearns to break her monotonous routine. Here’s a wild idea: an all-girl mariachi band! But it’s the 1970s, and girls can’t be mariachis…or can they? As Lucha and her spunky cousin hunt for bandmates, dodge disapproving relatives, and bring Mom along for the ride, they wonder: will the band come together?
Lucha is the main caregiver for her mother, Amalia, whose life has been drastically transformed by dementia. Lucha’s stressed-out dad, Federico, works as a cook and moonlights as a mariachi — traditionally a male-dominated art passed on from father to son. Amalia is barely able to recognize her own family — but Lucha and her cousin and best pal Boli discover that when they play a certain old mariachi record buried in the family’s collection, Amalia’s memory seems to return and her spirits lift.
Amid a blow-up with her dad, Lucha convinces Boli to help her try and form their own mariachi band and learn to play the song, while also striking a blow for feminism. (The play is set in the American Southwest in the ’70s, a time when the obstacles were considerably higher for such an enterprise.)
American Mariachi is a heartwarming and hilarious world premiere comedy about family, progress, and the freedom to dream big that will send your heart soaring and put a bounce in your step with a wave of vibrant, infectious live music.
San Diego Junior Theatre
Through May 13
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies JR. is the story of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of newsies. They make a meager living selling newspapers and dream of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. When titans of publishing raise distribution prices – the price of “papes” – at the newsboys’ expense…there is nothing to do but “Seize the Day.” Jack and independent young newspaper reporter, Katherine Plummer, rally newsies from across the city to form a union and strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right! Inspired by the true story of the 1899 Newsboys Strike agains powerful publisher Joseph Pulitzer.
• San Diego Junior Theatre has partnered with Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group on this special pilot production that has been adapted for young performers.
• San Diego Junior Theatre – in Balboa Park – runs the nation’s oldest continually run youth theatre program – and is in the middle of celebrating it’s 70th Season. They offer year round camps and classes for youth – and all of the performers and most of the theatre technicians are all students age 8-18. Summer camps registration is now open.
• Features classic songs like “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day” and “Santa Fe” which carry a wonderfully timeless message that captures the strength that young people have when they join together and stand up against injustice.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
La Jolla Playhouse (All performances take place at Challenged Athletes Foundation, 9591 Waples Street, San Diego, 92121).
In What Happens Next, Bonnie, an idealistic but inexperienced acting teacher, finds herself paired with a group of veterans as part of a drama therapy program. As she is confronted with the reality of her reluctant new students, Bonnie struggles to find a way to build trust and find common ground. Inspired by stories shared by the military community, this riveting new play mixes professional actors and San Diego veterans in an exploration of the complexities of sacrifice and resilience of those who have served.
• This is a “Without Walls” presentation, where LJP takes performances out into the community
• All performances take place at Challenged Athletes Foundation, 9591 Waples Street, San Diego, 92121.
• This production of What Happens Next benefits Operation Rebound,
supported by the Challenged Athletes Foundation.