¡HOLA TODOS! – Opening night of “American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City drew the Latino Literati by the fistful, in addition to Kirk Douglas himself and anyone that loves theatre and those Culture Clash boyz Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza. In the crowd were Production Manager Jose Delgado, Center Theatre Group honcho Diane Rodriguez, Director and Los Angeles Theatre Company jefe Jose Luis Valenzuela and playwright/LATC also- jefe Evelina Fernandez – two of my all time favorite married couples. (JD and Diane, Jose Luis and Evelina to be clear here.) “American Night” is a unique take on U.S. history – part play, part vaudeville, part delicious lunacy and serious social conscience. All was developed by Culture Clash and Jo Bonney and written by Montoya. He and Siguenza are also in the cast that includes René Millan, Stephanie Beatriz, Daisuke Tsuji and Rodney Gardiner joined by other talents in multiple roles with a gaggle of mustaches, beards, wigs, costumes and props zapped on and off at a frenetic pace. Show runs through April 1, so zap on whatever you drive and don’t miss it.
¡LATINO HOLLYWOOD! – Kudos, as we say in show biz, to NBC for renewing its NCLR Alma Awards partnership for a second year. The big night ain’t until September 21, 2012, so don’t start getting out the tuxes and gowns quite yet. That time of year, of course, is Hispanic Heritage Month when everyone thinks we’re just fabulous (for 30 days or so.) Hard to believe the awards night that honors Latinos in entertainment first hit the small screen in 1995. There’ve been a few bumps along the road. We even lost it for a bit, but our gorgeous Eva Longoria becoming a big star helped get it back on track along with the leadership of National Council of La Raza prexy and CEO Janet Murguia. Eva serves as host and exec producer. You can’t argue with two strong Latinas, Hollywood. This also says a lot about NBC that, of course, is teamed with Telemundo and working hard at reaching and celebrating Latinos in the U.S.