Lucy Pollak Public Relations

Latina Christmas Special – Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Lucy Pollak
lucy@lucypr.com (818) 887-1499 (for media only)

 

 

Holiday joy and laughs return to NYC
with
Latina Christmas Special

Limited 7-performance run
Dec. 7–Dec. 11 at SoHo Playhouse

 

NEW YORK CITY (October 25, 2022) — If you missed it last time, here’s your chance: Latina Christmas Special, an American comedy of Latina proportions, returns to New York City for a limited seven-performance run filled with laughs, more laughs, music and escándalo (scandal). Performances take place December 7 through December 11 at the SoHo Playhouse.

You thought your holidays with the family were dramatic? Try these three hilarious, touching and surprisingly personal Christmas stories of holidays past told by three first-generation Latina comedians: Miami-born, Cuban-American Diana Yanez (Margaret Cho’s The Sensuous Woman); half Mexican-half Lithuanian California native Maria Russell (TruTV’s Tacoma FD, MTV’s Teen Wolf); and Mexican-American Sandra Valls (Showtime’s Latin Divas of Comedy), who hails from Laredo, Texas.

When these three, sassy besties get together, it really is the most wonderful time of the year, with non-stop laughter, fun and, of course, tequila shots. It’s definitely not a silent night, as they banter about everything from moms to cucarachas (cockroaches) to Farrah Fawcett, and share their funny and intimate stories of childhood Christmas “dramas” that make them uniquely American, undoubtedly Latina, and, above all, best friends forever.

“These stories are a window into some of the beautiful traditions we have within the Latinx community,” says director Geoffrey Rivas. “They touch each and every audience member on so many levels, no matter their background.”

“This show was created with the intention of shedding light on the universal truths of holidays past, childhood and family, regardless of one’s heritage,” agrees Yanez. “The ‘Special’ in the title is an homage to all the TV shows we watched growing up — all those ‘Christmas Specials’ that we so closely identified with during the holidays, but that had absolutely no Latinos in them (or maybe just Jose Feliciano).”  

Latina Christmas Special is created by Yanez, who also executive produces, and written and performed by Yanez, Russell and Valls. It was further developed under the direction of Rivas at the Latino Theater Company in Los Angeles, where it became the longest running and most successful show ever presented by the company. Projections are designed by Yee Eun Nam and Ivan Robles designed the sound. Matthew Quinn of Combined Artform and Darren Lee Cole and Britt Lafield of the SoHo Playhouse produce alongside Rivas for Yanez’s AtomicTuna Productions.

Yanez is a passionate performer and storyteller. Her one-woman show Viva La Evolucion, about growing up Cuban American in Miami, won the New York Fringe Festival’s “Overall Excellence Award.” She has traveled across the country doing stand up, sketch and improv comedy including with Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour and with Margaret Cho. Television credits include, among others, Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, Crossing Jordan and Without A Trace. Diana has legendary videos that have reached viral proportions (over 15 million views on YouTube): Spanish For Your Nanny; Let me Borrow That Top; and My Puss (co-written and performed with Margaret Cho). During the pandemic, she co-created the micro-series The Pip & Pen Show (YouTube) with co-star, co-writer and co-creator Marjorie Duffield (Netflix’s Over The Moon), and she is currently directing Theater Practice, a popular podcast available on all platforms.

Russell is currently starring in a top-secret Amazon Studios series that is soon to be announced and released. You can also catch her as the feisty Lt. Liz Salazar on TruTV’s hit comedy show Tacoma FD, for which she is currently filming Season 4. You may also recognize her from hit shows like Teen Wolf, Southland, Criminal Minds, The Riches, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, CSI, The Bold and the Beautiful and the box office horror hit Lights Out. Whether it’s comedy or drama, you always know when Russell is in the house… she’s very rowdy. A self-proclaimed “Mexiuanian” (Mexican and Lithuanian), Russell is also a dancer with a background in classical ballet, jazz, hip hop and salsa.

Valls is a comic, actor, singer, writer and all-around “badass.” She is best known for her performances on two Showtime hit comedy specials, The Latin Divas of Comedy and Pride: The Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam. Her unique mix of physical comedy and storytelling make it easy to see why the Los Angeles Times called Valls “talented and hilarious.” Always a human rights activist, Valls was included on Curve Magazine’s power list as “One of the Most Influential Queer Women in the Country” as well as “One of the Top 10 Funniest Lesbian Comics.” Latina Magazine voted Valls “One of the Top 33 Bad Ass Comics with Latin Roots” and “Top 10 Latin Comics to Solve SNL’s Diversity Issue.” Her television credits include, among others, Outlaugh Festival, One Night Stand Up (LOGO), Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen (ABC), Habla! (HBO), Que Locos (Galavision), Funny is Funny, Latino 101 (SiTV), BET’s Comic View (BET) and NickMom Night Out (Nickelodeon). 

Rivas graduated from UCLA with a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration on acting. He has received numerous nominations for his stage work and is a founding member of the Latino Theater Company, which, under the artistic direction of José Luis Valenzuela, has been producing award-winning Latino theater nationally for 30 years. Film credits include Under the Tuscan Sun, Dragonfly, Luminarias, La Bamba, Born In East L.A., Pow Wow Highway, Bound By Honor, Above Suspicion and Foto Novelas for PBS, for which he won an ALMA award. A highlight of Geoff’s prolific television career was playing Detective Vega for nine years on the original CBS series, CSI. His directorial debut, Jozanne Marie’s solo show, Beautiful, garnered praise from reviewers and an NAACP best actress award for Jozanne.

Seven performances of Latina Christmas Special take place at the SoHo Playhouse on Wednesday, Dec. 7; Thursday, Dec. 8; and Friday, Dec. 9, each at 9 p.m.; on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.; and on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for regular seating and $70 for premium seating, which includes a “bit of swag.”

The SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam St., New York, NY 10013.

Latina Christmas Special contains adult situations and drinking; recommended for ages 13 and up, parental guidance suggested.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call (212) 6911555 (Tues-Sun, 4 p.m.-10 p.m.) or go to www.LatinaChristmasSpecial.com.

 

Details for Calendar Listings
Latina Christmas Special

WHAT:
If you missed it last time, here’s your chance: Latina Christmas Special, an American comedy of Latina proportions, returns to New York City for a limited 7-performance run filled with laughs, more laughs, music and escándalo (scandal). You thought your holidays with the family were dramatic? Try these three hilarious, touching and surprisingly personal Christmas stories of holidays past told by three acclaimed Latina comedians. When these three sassy BFFs get together, they down plenty of tequila and dish about everything from moms to cucarachas (cockroaches) to Farrah Fawcett, and share their funny and intimate stories of childhood Christmas “dramas” that make them uniquely American, undoubtedly Latina and, most of all, friends.

WHO:
• Created by Diana Yanez
• Written and performed by Maria Russell, Sandra Valls and Diana Yanez

• Directed by Geoffrey Rivas
• Produced by Diana Yanez (AtomicTuna Productions) and Matthew Quinn (Combined Artform) with Darren Lee Cole (SoHo Playhouse) and Geoffrey Rivas

WHEN:
Limited 7-performance run December 7 – December 11:
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 9 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 at 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

WHERE:
SoHo Playhouse

15 Vandam St.
New York, NY 10013

TICKET PRICES:
$55–$70

(Special group, veterans, seniors and student rates available.)

OTHER:
Latina Christmas Special contains adult situations and drinking; recommended for ages 13 and up, parental guidance suggested.

HOW:

www.LatinaChristmasSpecial.com
(212) 691-1555 (Tues-Sun, 4 p.m.-10 p.m.)

# # #