Tuesday, August 16, 2016


HOLA 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 Sudacas Theater production of Vanessa Verduga's Implication of Cohabitation, where he spoke with the cast (which includes HOLA members Vanessa Verduga, Anthony Ruiz, and Adriana Sananes) and director.

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Last Thursday, August 11, 2016 on the eve of the official opening of the Off-Broadway show, Implications of Cohabitation, HOLA partnered with PRIME LATINO MEDIA for an HOLA After The Curtain event after that evening's 8pm performance. Written by its lead actress, Vanessa Verduga, she was joined on stage by the theatrical production’s Argentine director, Leni Méndez, and the ensemble cast of actors: Andrés De VengoecheaDavid Pendleton, Gladys Pérez, Anthony Ruiz, Connie Saltzman and Adriana Sananes [Cast member James Padric was unable to attend.] A proud Latino production, its cast could not have been more diverse: African-American, Asian-Jewish, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Panamanian, Uruguayan, and Ecuadorian. Cheering us from the sidelines was the show's producer, Pablo Echegaray.

The story is set around Nelson, an Ecuadorian architect, upper middle class father with a U.S. construction business, two families and three kids– two with his wife (a son and his daughter) and another one, a 35 year old daughter who he has not seen in 20 years. When his wife dies at the beginning of the show, he sells the house and while exploring what to do with the rest of his life, decides to move in periodically with each of his three kids to make up for lost time and neglect. What was intended as a healthy bonding experience for a father and his three kids had unanticipated consequences for every character linked to this tale.

For myself, as someone whose father abandoned his mother while six months pregnant, the subject was ripe and there was no way I was ignoring the pink elephant in the room and started the conversation by asking everyone on stage if the production’s theme made them examine their relationships with their fathers differently whether he was there or not. Saltzman lovingly shared that her father was always there. Sananes mirrored those sentiments but posed a different angle that though a product of divorce at a very young age, her father was a wonderful man who she revered her entire life. Ruiz felt that he came from a "boring" family where his parents led a stable marriage and were together since 1951. De Vengochea felt that his parents were atypical in their role reversals for the Latino culture: his mother was the demanding one who was tough on him and his father was the sensitive, supporting one who allowed him to cry. Pérez explained that the play touched home since her father had had 12 kids with several different women.

On the back of a successful webseries with two million views, "Justice Woman", Verduga as the lead actress of the play was not spared an introspective examination when as the playwright who crafted this story, she became emotional addressing the subject of her father and felt that in order to move the relationship forward change will only occur when she reaches out.

When director Méndez was asked to describe her formula for how she injected “father” into the play, she poetically illustrated treating each character like their own separate panel of cloth validating their being and eventually they came together, weaving naturally into one fully connected quilt.

The most humorous anecdote about fathers and multiple families was shared whimsically by Ruiz, who played the role of father offering a story about a relative through marriage who was a Merchant Marine having several families at ports in different countries and when each woman gave birth to their first child, coincidentally in each case a girl, he named them all the same name. When the next child each woman gave birth happened to all be boys, he once again gave every single one the same name. This would ensure that he would never forget their names or confuse them with one another, which led to much chuckling from the audience.

By virtue of her past work, Verduga has a deep love for comedy, but admitted this production to be a "dramedy", due to its deep undertones that desperately needed much comic relief and everyone agreed that it worked.

Pendleton played a homeless person in the park and an association was drawn with his character and that of the angel, Clarence in the 1946 Frank Capra film It’s A Wonderful Life. He agreed and took it a step farther feeling that he was the father’s alter ego and that his character probably never existed and that all those conversations and exchanges were just in Nelson’s head as he wrestled with decisions past and present.

Pérez performed two characters, though mainly the waitress in a small Ecuadorian restaurant. But she was asked how she executed the few lines she had with such dynamic humor rendering really funny scenes and why she embraces comedy as well as she does. She went on to tell that as a child with so much drama in the family, she was notorious for perpetually providing comic relief to let off some steam and to take the edge off for everyone else– including when, as a child, she would fall and hurt herself and just shake it off with humor and move along.

Members of the audience lauded the cast and production team for a wonderful play and one in particular addressed the fact that this play was a template from Shakespeare’s King Lear and was anyone aware of that association. From the playwright to the actors no one had made that connection, but they all agreed once she pointed out the analogy of an aging monarch intent on retiring, decides to divide his realm among his three offspring, and declares he'll offer the largest share to the one who loves him the most and then announces he will live alternately with some of them. Life imitating art?

Read the Tío Louie full interview with Vanessa Verduga by clicking here.

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Sudacas Theater presents
Written by Vanessa Verduga
Directed by Leni Méndez
Starring Vanessa VerdugaAnthony Ruiz and Adriana Sananes
Now through Friday, August 26, 2016
Theatre Row - The Harold Clurman Theatre
410 West 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th avenues), NYC
To purchase of tickets 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 herehere and/orhere.

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

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