In pursuit of the American Dream, six pregnant Filipina women risk everything. Confined to a one-bedroom one-bath unit in East Hollywood, they do their best to overcome fears of jail and deportation so that their children can have a better life.*
Enjoy this interview with the cast of “America Adjacent” at Skylight Theatre, playing through Mar 24th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
Roger Q. Mason (RQM): Boni, tell us about the impetus for AMERICA ADJACENT.
Boni Alvarez (BA): I read an article years ago about a Chinese birthing house getting raided in the San Gabriel Valley. The descriptions of the living conditions, the women participating, the Stateside operation, it was all so vivid. It made me question – why? Why would these Chinese women – women of means – endure these conditions, all in the name of birthing a U.S. citizen? I re-imagined the situation with Filipina women.
RQM: One room, six Filipina women. Diyos ko! That’s the perfect hotbed for drama. What’s it like for six women, particularly six Filipina women?
BA: They have a common bond with their shared goal, but they are a very diverse group of women. Some are married, some not. They come from different areas of the Philippines. They travel in different social circles. They’re experiencing the discomforts of pregnancy, of being in a confined space, of being far from home. Drama ensues.
RQM: This project is a confluence of quite a few longstanding relationships: you’re a resident playwright at Skylight; you’ve collaborated with Jon Lawrence Rivera many times before; and – correct me if I’m wrong – some of the members of your cast have been in other projects before. How have these relationships influenced your work and your process?
BA: The folks at Skylight have always championed my voice as a playwright. I’ve written four plays in the Playwrights’ Lab, so it’s a fertile community for me. Jon has been a champion of my work since I graduated from USC. There’s an ease in our collaborations – we speak a similar language and we really enjoy each other. In terms of actors I work with repeatedly, I am drawn to them because they understand my storytelling. This is the second play I’ve had Evie Abat in and my third with Sandy Velasco. There’s comfort in knowing that an actor will come through both professionally and artistically. But I love meeting new actors also. I think my plays tend to have bigger casts because I feel a responsibility to write for more actors, especially Filipino ones.
RQM: Okay, now a big question. How is the “American Dream” packaged for Filipinx people abroad and how is the reality so terribly different when they get to the States? As a fellow Filipinx playwright (my mother came to the US in 1980) I am interested in hearing your take on this cultural dichotomy.
BA: When I would visit the Philippines as a child, I got the sense that relatives believed that money grew on trees in the States, that all you had to do was get here and all would be golden.
But most immigrants know that’s not true. You have to work hard to scratch out a living here, but working hard and being able to pay your rent – I don’t think that’s the ‘dream’. That’s just simple existence – we haven’t even touched on other elements like racism and xenophobia and how that factors into culture shock and colors the ‘dream’.
RQM: We know you STAY writing, Boni. That’s one of the many things we love about you. What are you working on now?
BA: Working on a new political play Emmylu in the Skylight Lab. Revising my WWII play Refuge for a Purple Heart set in the Philippines – a love story between a Jewish Austrian refugee and a Filipino boy. And finishing up a half-hour pilot, a dramedy.
Sugar Plum Fairy is a thoroughly original story about a 12 year-old girl who dreams of dancing the lead in The Nutcracker with a cast of characters you won’t forget!
Enjoy an offbeat holiday treat that Adults and Kids love! Join in if you like, (think G-rated “Rocky Horror” fun) and don’t forget to wear your ugly holiday sweater, tutu or silly Hanukah hat. It’s 75 minutes of madcap merriment that will send you home smiling!*
Enjoy this interview with the cast of “Sugar Plum Fairy” at Skylight Theatre, running until Dec 23rd. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
WICKED, the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing …read more
This New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but …read more
This hilarious Off-Broadway smash returns to Los Angeles, featuring Dixie Longate, the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party out of the living room and into the 21st …read more
Renowned for her potent combination of dynamic vocals, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance, acclaimed jazz singer Nicole Henry brings new life to classic holiday repertoire. Her expressive vocals and stage-commanding charisma have earned …read more
In 1978, People’s Temple, a progressive, Black multiracial church, self-destructed in a Guyana settlement named after its founder, the Reverend Jim Jones. A riveting story of complicity and resistance; loyalty and betrayal; black struggle …read more
First Night by Jack Neary A bright, warm comedy about dreams, life and love, that had critics and audiences cheering at its premiere. Danny Flemming had convinced himself that life’s dreams can’t be anything more …read more
“It’s a Wonderful Life.” Matt Johnson directs this radio-drama style staging of the holiday classic, based on the 1947 Lux Radio Theatre version, about a man who learns how important his life is to …read more
Based on the cherished 2003 hit film starring Will Ferrell, Elf the Musical is the story of Buddy the elf. Featuring songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway, The Wedding Singer), with …read more
“A sardonic, merrily subversive tale—just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed. Worth more than a photo album full of Santas!” NY Newsday. Patrick Censoplano once again dons the …read more
In just over a decade of recording music and playing sold-out shows worldwide, Jake Shimabukuro has already redefined the ukulele. In his hands this diminutive Hawaiian instrument becomes a complex and bold new musical …read more
From award winning solo performer comes the classic Dickens tale of redemption and hope. Blanco’s tour de force performance brings Dickens’ wonderful characters to life with magic and audience participation. The lessons of forgivenes …read more
On the night a death-house chaplain must hand over the reigns to the confident young pastor set to replace him, the men encounter an enigmatic inmate who challenges their convictions and changes their lives …read more
How to Produce a Hollywood Fringe Show taught by Matthew Quinn Excited about the thought of doing a show at HFF, but have concerns and questions? Get the answers to your questions and an overview of …read more
Skylight Theatre Company and Frier McCollister present Sandra Tsing Loh’s “Sugar Plum Fairy” Directed by Bart De Lorenzo This offbeat and thoroughly original holiday treat offers festive cheer while engaging audiences to participate (think G-rated …read more
A Holiday Comedy ShitSH*W LOS ANGELES PREMIERE New Banner – SJK 11.6.18.jpg An Original Sketch Comedy Walk Down A Hilarious Dysfunctional Santa Clause Lane December 4, 2018 @ The Complex Theatre Opening December 4 …read more
OCT 31st @ 8:00PM – OPENING NIGHT: 818 THE MOVIE Wed 10/31/18 08:00 PM 1 – NOT THAT STRONG Music Video, 5 min., Rated: Not Rated, English Dir: Gregory JM Kasunich, Prod: Gregory JM Kasunich, Gene Micofsky 2 – …read more
The award-winning SkyPilot Theatre Company will premiere seven original short plays during its inaugural SkyPilot One-Act Festival this November at Oh My Ribs! Entertainment, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. The plays (titled Series …read more
Flat Tire Theatre Company presents There is Evil in This House Written by Natalie Nicole Dressel Directed by Sofija Dutcher A pop-culture obsessed Transgender woman copes with the realities of having grown up in a haunted house, the …read more
Actors Co-op Theatre Company presents the three-time Tony Award-Winning Musical She Loves Me, with book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, directed and choreographed by Cate Caplin, produced …read more
Force of Nature Productions presents the World Premiere of Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm’s GRAY PEOPLE. GRAY PEOPLE tells a story of constantly shifting trust and loyalties as James, Jenny and Adam tensely await a late-night delivery in …read more
Zoo Theatre Company will present the World Premiere of “THE UPCYCLERS – An Earth Saving Musical,” with Book, Music and Lyrics written by Daniel Sugimoto, created by Julia Lisa and Daniel Sugimoto, starring Julia …read more
LONDON-PARIS-ROAM ! A new one-woman musical show starring Sarah Tullamore. Original music and lyrics by James Burn Book and additional music/lyrics by Sarah Tullamore Directed by Frederic Baptiste Accompanied on piano by Alan Steinberger …read more
Better Lemons has lots of registered shows and events and lot of them have Critics and Audience reviews posted. Here you can see their favorites and when you click on a title, you will see all the critics’ and audience reviews and ratings. From there you can choose what your adventures this weekend will be. We wish you a fantastic weekend!
Pulled from the streets of 1960’s Ireland, this gritty monodrama tells the story of Austin “Occi” Byrne, abused and isolated, violent, vulnerable, and searching for redemption.
Enjoy this interview about “Swansong” staring André de Vanny at the Skylight Theatre, running until Oct 7th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
Hi everyone…Well looks like summer isn’t over and it’s going to be a very hot weekend. I intend to spend as many days as I can at the beach. I recommend Zuma in Malibu. It may be a bit of a drive but it’s never crowded and the water is beautiful. Plus you may get a visitor or two.
This Friday I’ll be at one of my favorite plant based Mexican Gracias Madre. Now for those out there that aren’t vegan or vegetarian I promise you will absolutely love this restaurant and you won’t miss meat at all. They serve cuisine that is inspired by the kitchens of Mexico. Everything is organic, farm fresh and it’s all locally sourced food. The chef Chandra Gilbert is definitely an artist. This is a great place to take your girlfriend, your wife, or someone you just met online and want to impress. The prices are quite reasonable. Be sure to order the guacamole and chips. Gracias Madre is located at 8905 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. To check out their menu go to GraciasMadreWeHo.com
Saturday night I’m off to the Skylight Theatre located at 1816 1/2 North Vermont for the opening of a play entitled Swansong. The play is being put on by the Australian Theatre Company. I’ve seen several of their productions and every one of them has been excellent. This is a very unique play about a man, Austin ‘Occi’ Byrne that has been abused and has lived a very isolated life filled with violence. He is now searching for redemption. Swansong has played all over the world and from the reviews it’s gotten, I can guarantee you it will be a powerful theatre experience. Plus the play is written by the Irish playwright Conor McDermottroe and no one knows how to express suffering more poetically than the Irish. You can purchase tickets through their show page or you can also do it the old fashion way by calling 866-811-4111.
After the play, you’ll probably want to go somewhere to discuss it and walking down Vermont is the perfect place to do this. This is a very cool street filled with book stores, outdoor cafes, ecclectic shops and the historic Vista Movie Theatre built in 1921 that still shows movies. Oh and my favorite part of Vermont are the dogs. Everyone seems to have one and being a crazy dog person, I have to stop and pet every single one that I see, which for some reason gets whoever I’m with slightly annoyed.
Finally this Sunday you will find me at the world famous Rose Bowl Flea Market. I’m obssessed with anything vintage and this is the one place where you can find anything and everything from your great grandmother’s era. My passion is depression glass and dishes. I have around a thousand pieces (no I’m not a horder) and I found them all there. The Flea Market also has old albums (remember albums) rows and rows of furniture, jewelry, clothes just to name a few of the things you’ll find from the 2500 plus vendors that are there every month.. To learn more go to RGCShows.com/rosebowl.aspx.
After shopping I recommend checking out Old Pasadena where you will find find many historic buildings and some really cool cafes. One of my favorites is Amara Cafe and Restaurant (Chocolate and coffee). What could be better.? Check out their menu at AmaraChocolate.com.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend have a great one.
A stunning connection between two very different worlds. Based on true events, a family fights the backlash from the community and governments, both here and abroad when a Mom travels to Tehran to save her son, a 19 year old Marine held captive during the Iran hostage crisis.
Enjoy this interview about “HOSTAGE” Written By Michelle Kholos Brooks at Skylight Theatre, running until June 24th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
Enjoy this interview with the cast of The Madres at Skylight Theatre, which closes Apr 29th. You can listen to this YouTube interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
Enjoy this interview with the cast of Rotterdam at the Skylight Theatre, which closes Dec 11th. You can listen to this YouTube interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
Enjoy this interview with the cast of GREY NOMAD at the The Skylight Theatre, which closes Oct 8th. You can listen to this YouTube interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
Enjoy this interview with the cast of THE LOST CHILD at Skylight Theatre, which closes Sep 3rd. You can listen to this YouTube interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.