Showing posts from November, 2012

Las Cafeteras Let Everyone Know What Time it Is!

They are Las Cafeteras, a seven-piece ensemble born in El Sereno under the watchful care of Roberto Flores and his brood, a clan of family members—some only   symbolically adopted—that gathers still at a space called the East Side Café. Home to the spirit of collective cultural and political work, the East Side Café on Huntington Drive had long been an outpost of Zapatismo, progressive politics and a return to the roots of communal labor that seeks to uplift the needs of the many and eschew the glorification or gratification of the few. Quiet and humble, Roberto Flores refused then and refuses still to be considered a patriarch. His has always been the spirit of collectivism. His own children, among them Quetzal and Xochitl and Angela Lucía, took those lessons… that kind of life learning gleaned as children of the movimiento and made music with it. But it was not just music or even just movimiento music. It was black music, African music that had been molded and shaped by its

8 Ways to Say “I Love My Life!”

Review by Abel Salas Coinciding with the release of a book—now out on Arte Público Press—that gathers the eight, award-winning monologues penned by eight Latina women, the reprisal of 8 Ways to Say I Love My Life at Casa 0101 is every bit as powerful as the original stage 2009 stage production. In many ways, the play is vastly improved. With each of the eight parts written independently by women who come from across the country and work across a broad professional spectrum, 8 Ways is a celebration of triumph, spiritual health and personal achievement. With a decidedly sharper and somewhat leaner script, as well as agile direction by Nancy De Los Santos Reza, 8 Ways has come into its own as a finely crafted stage production which moves it well beyond the realm of simple women’s empowerment or self-help. Yvonne DeLaRosa, Ivonne Coll, Kikey Castillo and Karina Noelle (l. to r.) in 8 Ways To Say I Love My Life! With an ensemble cast led by award-winning actor Yvonne De La R

The Old Man & The Shy Boy

A Short Story by Clodomiro Calvo The old man had enrolled in a workshop for beginning writers. The workshop was offered in a converted old apartment on the second floor of the J.S. Schirm Building, on the corner of First and Cummings, in Boyle Heights. Each Monday evening the old man grasped the rickety unstable handrail and climbed the twenty-six worn out steps. By the time he arrived at the first landing his knees were complaining with pain, and he was forced to stop and rest. After a few moments, he continued his slow ascent of the remaining steps. The old man then managed to shuffle down the dark corridor to the doorway of what must have been at one time a tidy modest apartment. Not counting the past sixteen Monday evenings, the only other time he had stood at this doorway was more than sixty years ago when he was a mere 12 year old shy boy. Pausing at the open doorway and smiling at no one in particular, the old man reflected on the ironical coincidence and began to rem