Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tío Louie Reporta– HOLA After The Curtain: OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY

is proud to present Tío Louie Reporta, where filmmaker and Executive Producer of Prime Latino Media, Louis Perego Moreno (affectionately known as Tío Louie) interviews actors and multimedia-makers in the business of show.

In this edition, Tío Louie moderates the HOLA After The Curtain event for the Chelsea Repertory Company production of Jerry Sterner's Other People's Money (held in collaboration with Prime Latino Media), where he spoke with the cast and director.

HOLA partnered with PRIME LATINO MEDIA for an HOLA After The Curtain event this past Sunday, July 31, 2016 immediately after the 2pm matinee of the theatrical revival production for the 1980s play, Other People's Money. Featured onstage was the show’s co-producer and lead actress, Andrea Navedo, the 2015 HOLA Elizabeth Peña Breakthrough Award honoree for her portrayal as Xiomara Villanueva, mother of the titular character (played by Golden Globe winner Gina Rodríguez) in Jane The Virgin. Acting alongside her is another jewel in our community, actor and acting coach, Rosie Berrido. The beauty that was heartwarming was when Andrea beamed with pride that of the five leading cast members, two were Latina. Also she pointed out that whenever she could inject a Latino in other roles behind-the-scenes, she did. Hence her set designer, the very creative Raúl Ábrego (a former HOLA Awards recipient) and her costume designer, Jessica A. Moreno-Caycho, who delivered sexy, body-fitting dresses in bold colors for Navedo that also helped her deliver a very confident, high-powered lawyer. Also in the production were her assistant directors Ana Cristina Ramos and Gabriela Resto-Montero. Latinos rock!

Rounding out the discussion were John Grabowski, the play's director and Associate Director of the Acting Studio–New York; Marco Greco, lead actor in the role of Garfinkle (played in the $25 million, 1991 feature film version of the play by Danny DeVito); supporting actors, Bruce Hermann (who played Jorgenson) and John O’Hern (who played Coles and was the narrator of the story). Andrea Navedo played Kate Sullivan, a New York high-powered lawyer of Irish heritage, formerly from a small Rhode Island town, and Rosie Berrido played her mother.

Other People's Money is a comedy-drama written in the 1980s, but equally relevant today in highlighting Wall Street greed and corporate raiders in gobbling smaller family-run businesses with the intent of dismantling them. Adding insult to injury, this small, family-run company is the primary employer in a small Rhode Island town.

The pink elephant in the room was touched upon by how art is social policy and the old cliché that art imitates life when the premise for this play of 1980s Wall Street greed is very much alive today. Reference was made to the current populist backlash by the 99% (versus the 1% at the economic top) and how that has been a contributing factor behind the 2016 Presidential election politics.

Berrido plays Bea Sullivan, Kate’s mother. Both Berrido and Navedo rendered a rich scene in the play that called for a mother-daughter tearful performance with eyes welling for both and tears streaming down Navedo’s cheeks. It was one of the play’s highlights and they talked about tapping into truth, the complexity of mother-daughter relationships and the art of crying realistically on command.

Navedo shared her secrets on a quick change scene that was remarkable when she exited stage right and re-entered within what seemed like a few seconds, re-entering stage left all composed, confident and completely changed into another tight-fitting outfit. And she stressed how the colors of her costumes were symbolic of the character and where her character was in the play.
A highlight was when Navedo was asked who her biggest influence was as an actor and she responded that it was the Chelsea Repertory Company where she attended once graduating from college with a degree in theater. But it was going there that flipped a switch when she studied the Meisner technique. This technique develops externally, as opposed to Method acting, which develops from an internal source such as emotional recall or sense memory. And here she has come full circle co-producing this play between her company and the theater. As a matter of fact, she said she wished she had undergone the Meisner technique before she studied theater in college.

Berrido was asked what was her most memorable role in a theatrical performance. She did not hesitate and quickly responded, “Patria.” This character was the oldest of the Mirabal sisters, taken from the historical novel, In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Álvarez, set during the time of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic (Berrido is of half-Dominican heritage). The sisters make a political commitment to overthrow the Trujillo regime, but for their revolutionary work Trujillo orders the three sisters beaten and killed. What made Berrido most proud was citing that due to the tragic outcome of the sisters, the United Nations declared November 25th (the date of their deaths) the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, raising social awareness to the fact that one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence.

Another highlight during the Q&A was when one of our Latina members who spoke with an accent asked for advice regarding a Latino actor who has an accent when speaking English. Should they lose it? Berrido, who is bilingual, bicultural and an acting coach who works with actors in dialects, felt that an actor should not go out of their way to lose their accent. However, they should undergo elocution and diction training to ensure that they are understood clearly and speak distinguishably. Navedo concurred and cited that her co-star, Ivonne Coll, who plays her mother in The CW's "Jane the Virgin", is a seasoned actress who was born in Puerto Rico and has constantly worked over the decades prior to being on the hit TV series. Her film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather II made her an international star crossing over from the Latin world to Hollywood in spite of having an accent. Yet, the accomplished actress credits her success in mainstream media due to elocution and diction classes, as well as training in drama directly with Lee Strasberg, comedy with Lucille Ball and musical theater with David Craig.

OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY is a magnificent theatrical production and timeless story with great performances. Let’s support our community of talented Producers and actors. And ticket prices are not Hamilton-priced – they’re only $18 tickets– best bargain in town! Don’t walk, run!

Read the full, separate interview Tío Louie Reporta with Andrea Navedo for El Blog de HOLA by clicking here.

Limited engagement
NOW through Sunday, August 14, 2016
Chelsea Repertory Theatre at Shetler Theatre 54
244 West 54th Street
(between Broadway and 8th Avenue), 12th floor, NYC
For ticket information (and to buy online), click here.

Louis Perego Moreno (Tío Louie) is founder and Executive Producer of Prime Latino Media, the largest East Coast network of Latino multimedia-makers, actors and musicians in bilingual Latino and mainstream media, digital and entertainment. Check out Louis Perego Moreno (Tío Louie) on Facebook (here and here), TwitterInstagramVimeo, and LinkedIn. To follow PRIME LATINO MEDIA on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, click here, here and/or here.

[Photos on this blog are by Alphabeta Photography, unless otherwise specified. To see more photos of the event, click here.]

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