Showing posts from December, 2017

Review: 'Beauty and the Beast' is Perfect for Holiday Season

L. - R.: Mrs. Potts (Jacqueline Schofield ); Belle (Andrea Somera); Beast (Omar Mata). Photo by Ed Krieger by Abel M. Salas The Disney-Pixar animated blockbuster Coco has undoubtedly demonstrated that Hollywood can successfully deliver entertainment steeped in traditional Mexican culture. Banking on the widespread stateside popularity of the Día de los Muertos tradition—thanks, in large part, to a preceding generation of Chicano artists who came of age in the 1960s, added their own creative flourishes before generously 0 their take on the celebration with the rest of nation 40 years ago—the studios scored big with Coco . They scored so big, in fact, that taking the film world-wide was a given, and its record-setting reception in Mexico as the country’s highest grossing film of all time was not a surprise. With a resplendent Boyle Heights reprisal of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast —the Broadway musical adaptation of the studio’s 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film

ENCUENTRO REVIEW: Culture Clash: An American Odyssey

by Abel M. Salas Once the capacity crowd has spilled out of the Tom Bradley Theater at the iconic Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), Richard Montoya joins them in the ornate, marble-floored lobby. The seasoned performer is—with Herbert Siguenza and Ric Salinas—a co-founder of Culture Clash, the renowned three-man comedy troupe the evening’s throng of patrons had come to see. With the faint residue of stage make-up still evident on his face, the veteran actor-writer-director is being unduly modest. “Hey, man,” Montoya says, rolling his eyes slightly under raised eyebrows and flashing a sheepish, almost apologetic grin. “Guess you could tell we were working without a net up there.” In the aftermath of the acclaimed trio’s second-ever, full-blown staging of Culture Clash: An American Odyssey , an original new production premiered at the “Encuentro de Las Américas: Embracing Our Voices” international theater festival, Montoya is fretting over kinks and glitches—perceptible to him a

Report from U.N. Climate Change Conference

by Victor Griego, Jr. Bonn, Germany —I am fortunate to be attending the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), or “COP23,” here. Since my arrival to this historic old-world, yet still very modern European city, I’ve learned a great deal. I have had the opportunity to reflect on those learnings and have come away feeling positive and hopeful about our earth’s future. That hope I’m carrying within me now has been sparked by those I’ve encountered at the conference, among them people from all corners of the globe as well as several hailing from various municipalities across our own great state of California. The COP23 is the United Nations committee of 197 nations assembled to address the effects of global Climate Change. Its first agreements—negotiated in a multi-national effort to confront the reality of global warming—were signed in Kyoto, Japan at a similar gathering convened in 1997. Although the United States w