Sunday, July 21, 2013

El Grande es ExtendedO. Mui Bueno!

Extended AGAIN and 
Yet   A G A I N!!
 through December 14, 2013!

Los Angeles and Santa Monica Adjacent folks. Or Salt Lake City?  This is a hit.  Don't miss it! 

El Grande de Coca Cola unfolds as the story of Primo Emcee and entrepreneur Senor Don Pepe Hernandez (co-author Ron House) announces that his big time cabaret show will feature famous entertainers. Events take a left turn when the celebs don’t show up and Don Pepe presses family members into service to perform the show.  Written by House with Diz White, John Neville-Andrews and director/musical director Alan Shearman over forty years ago, House is now approaching a time when House may be age appropriate for the flamboyant role.  Having run for over two years in New York in the seventies and taking over the Whiskey A Go Go after that, the show remains a romp, a ballyhoo, a sleazy, crazy wonderfulness that must be seen.  Don’t miss it, even if you have to drive a ways to get to the Ruskin.  Do NOT follow Google maps to find the venue.  But, when you do find it, the parking is free.

Preshow antics by the blonde excellence of Lila Dupree  as Consuelo Hernandez, daughter of El Primo Emcee Don Pedro, gets the ball rolling.  For anyone who has wandered into a Juarez or Tijuana night club can tell you, the entertainment might land directly in your lap. 

Enter dos mas excellente hombres, Miguel Vasquez (multi-talented David Lago) and Jim Carey clone Aaron Jackson as Juan Rodriguez.  With Lago on piano and Jackson on drums, we are off on a whirlwind Technicolor adventure.  The truly talented ensemble is completed by  raven haired versatile Nina Brissey as Maria Hernandez.  Paul Denk appears briefly as Alfredo.

In a non-stop ninety minutes we are bombarded with not only the Spanish language exuberant patter of Don Pepe, but Los Gigolos from Italy and Hans, the German hip hop rap star complete with sexy bitches.  This tireless cast of five performs every act to the hilt with quick changes and accents and seldom is heard a true English word and yet it’s all clear as a bell.  The action never stops and it really doesn’t matter when some of the dialogue gets lost in major laughter through out.

Great theatre, to me, is about the melding of the audience with the play.  When the audience so loses itself that applause and appreciation become a part of the action, it becomes one big love fest.     El Grande de Coca Cola o’er steps the boundaries of nature (Guillame Shakespeare says something about that when Hamlet advises The Players, right?) and the excess results in mas y mas hilarity.  Mucho mas entertainmento.

What a pleasure.  Only attend if prepared to have a really good time.

El Grande de Coca Cola by
Ron House, Diz White, Alan Shearman and John Neville-Andrews
Directed by Alan Shearman
Ruskin Group Theatre
3000 Airport Road
Santa Monica, CA 90405
July 19 through September 28, 2013
Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM
Sundays at 2PM
Tickets $25 ($20 for Students, Seniors and Guild members)
310 327 3244 /

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