Saturday, June 2, 2018


Tom Jacobson's Mexican Day (Ballad of the Bimini Baths) explores a time in Los Angeles History when LA Tribune reporter Hisaye Yamamoto (Jully Lee) teamed up with an
African American gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (Donathan Walters) to desegregate the Bimini Baths.
All actual people, with Darrell Larson as Hollywood screen writer Everett Maxwell and Jonathan Medina: the only fictional character, Zenobio Remedios we find ourselves in John Iacovelli's extraordinary set depicting not only the Bimini Baths but easily accessed other locations with the turn of a wall.  

It's 1948. Divisions along racial and ethnic lines are still a part of the daily California culture. West of downtown Los Angeles in the area now known  as Koreatown near Third and Vermont, the Bimini Baths, founded in the early 1900s,  became a plunge and a spa for Angelenos and tourists with the notable exception of anyone of color. The title, Mexican Day refers to Thursdays, the only day when Mexicans and others of color would be allowed to use the baths. Thursdays Only. .  And there by hangs the tale. 
One of a trilogy of plays by Jacobson (Plunge, Tar, and Mexican Day) Mexican Day traces 50 years of social change in Los Angeles; bringing to light the nature of prejudice and the efforts of social reformers who moved forward to deal with it into the mid twentieth century.

Photos by John Perrin Flynn

 Donathan Walters and Darrell Larson
Director Jeff Liu's
ensemble cast  weaves a story that eventually includes the audience with screenwriter Maxwell's narration describing the action as depicted in the movie script that he offers to the audience in Act II. 

Excellent ensemble acting abounds with each of the four players coming around as other characters whom the audience readily accepts. Notable is Larson's Irish Swedish cop! 

Especially heart rending is Larson's portrayal of Everett Maxwell who, among other occupations was an actual screenwriter in the 1920s. His story provides a major mystery. Convincing Maxwell to join forces with Yamamoto and Rustin the play eventually crashes through the fourth wall with an admonition that desegregation and equality for all is still a task, today, that each of us must sign up for and continue to work to understand and move beyond. 

MEXICAN DAY  by Tom Jacobson
Rogue Machine Theatre 
At The MET
1089 Oxford Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Fridays and Sundays at 8PM
Saturdays at 4PM
Through July 1, 2018
Tickets and Information:
Reservations: 855-585-5185  

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