Lucy Pollak Public Relations

Mix-Mix – Press Release

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: Lucy Pollak
[email protected] (818) 312-2276 (for media only)

 

Latino Theater Company and PlaywrightsArena present
epic
Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy

 

LOS ANGELES (April 2, 2024) — Latino Theater Company and Playwrights Arena present the world premiere of an epic World War II odyssey inspired by an astonishing, little-known true story. Written by Boni B. Alvarez and directed by Playwrights’ Arena founding artistic director Jon Lawrence Rivera, Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy is set to open May 18 at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. Performances will continue through June 16, with six low-priced previews taking place May 9 through May 17.

Grand in scale, exciting, touching, and at times hilarious, Mix-Mix centers on 13-year-old Rudy Preissman, whose newfound tropical refuge in the Philippines after escaping Nazi Germany is upended when Japan invades the islands — forcing his family and their Filipino friends to hide out in the heights and depths of sacred Mount Banahao.

The play is based on the real-life story of Ralph J. Preiss, who, at age 93, currently lives in New York and is planning to fly to Los Angeles for opening night on May 18.

“Philippines President Manuel Quezon saved over 1,000 Jews with his ‘Open Door’ policy, even as most Jews were being refused entry around the world,” explains Rivera. “The Philippines, a developing country, was able to get these people out. It’s a story you don’t hear much about, and we’re delighted to present it during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.”

“One would think the journey to get from Germany to the Philippines would be enough of a story in itself,” suggests Alvarez. “Add to that spending four months in the jungle on a mountain hiding out from the Japanese, being put in charge of chaperoning a famous Filipina movie star, and meeting the President.”

In January, 2020, Preiss was invited to speak to the United Nations at a special event in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. A close friend of the family happened to invite Los Angeles arts advocate and consultant Olga GarayEnglish to watch on Zoom.

“I thought, this is a story that needs to be told,” says Garay-English, who was able to connect Rivera, born in Manila, and Alvarez, who is of Filipino descent, with Preiss. “Ralph has been a big part of the development process, and Jon and Boni have the savvy and sophistication to bring his lived experience together in a highly theatrical way. The play is told from the point of view of the kids: Ralph and his Filipino friends think this is all a great, grand adventure despite the dangers of the Japanese Occupation.”

As part of the development process, Mix-Mix received a staged reading at the Skirball Cultural Center. When Latino Theater Company presented a second reading late last year, artistic director Jose Luis Valenzuela immediately knew it was something the company wanted to produce. “This is the kind of play that exemplifies our mission to start cross-cultural conversations,” he says.

The production stars Casey J. Adler, Alexis Camins and Angelita Esperanza as the three children, Rudy, Felizardo “Zar” Manzano and Ligaya “Mousie” Ybanez. Everyone else, including family members, neighbors, soldiers, film star Paloma Palma and more, are played by Mark Doerr, Kennedy Kabasares, Myra Cris Ocenar, Jill Remez, Giselle “G Tongi and Mark McClain Wilson. The production team features choreography by Reggie Lee and fight choreography by Alvin Catacutan. The scenic designer is Christopher Scott Murillo; lighting design is by Azra King-Abadi; sound design is by Jesse Mandapat; video design is by Nick Santiago; costume design is by Mylette Nora; and the prop master is Lily Bartenstein. The stage management team includes production stage manager Letitia Chang, assistant stage manager Sam Pribyl and wardrobe assistant Manee Leija. Olga GarayEnglish is the lead producer.

“Mix-Mixis a direct English translation of the Tagalog word “Halo-Halo,” the name of a popular Filipino dessert that’s a mixture of jellies, tapioca pearls, fruit, beans, corn, shaved ice, condensed milk and ice cream — a perfect metaphor for the mixed cultures that came together as the world contended with the horrors of World War II.

Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy is a project of the National Performance Network Creation and Development Fund. It was co-commissioned by the Skirball Cultural Center, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Miami New Drama and Playwrights’ Arena, and developed with a Finishing Commission from Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation. The NPN Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

The Latino Theater Company is dedicated to providing a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; and a place where the convergence of people, cultures and ideas contribute to the future. Now in its 39th year, LTC has operated The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a landmark building in Downtown’s Historic Core, since 2006. Last month, the company was honored with six Stage Raw awards for four different plays produced in 2023.

Playwrights’ Arena discovers, nurtures and produces bold new works for the stage written exclusively by Los Angeles playwrights. Committed to diversity and inclusivity among its writers, artists, management, board, audiences, and among the points of view of the works it develops and produces, the company functions as an incubator for a re-imagined and more inclusive theatrical canon.

Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy opens on Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through June 16. Six preview performances take place May 9 through May 17 on the same schedule. Tickets range from $10$48, except opening night which is $75 and includes a post-performance reception.

The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking is available for $8 with box office validation at Los Angeles Garage Associate Parking structure, 545 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 (between 5th and 6th Streets, just behind the theater).

For more information and to purchase tickets, call (213) 489-0994 or go to www.latinotheaterco.org.

 

Details for Calendar Listings
Mix-Mix:
The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy

WHAT:
Latino Theater Company
and Playwrights Arena present the world premiere of Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy, an epic World War II odyssey inspired by an astonishing, little-known true story. Grand in scale, exciting, touching, and at times hilarious, Mix-Mix centers on 13-year-old Rudy Preissman, whose newfound tropical refuge in the Philippines after escaping Nazi Germany is upended when Japan invades the islands — forcing his family and their Filipino friends to hide out in the heights and depths of sacred Mount Banahao.

WHO:
• Written by Boni B. Alvarez

• Directed Jon Lawrence Rivera
• Starring Casey J. Adler, Alexis Camins, Mark Doerr, Angelita Esperanza, Kennedy Kabasares, Myra Cris Ocenar, Jill Remez, Giselle “G Tongi, Mark McClain Wilson
• Lead producer Olga GarayEnglish
• Produced by Latino Theater Company and Playwrights Arena
 

WHEN:
Previews: May 9–May 17
Performances:
May 18–June 16
Thursdays at 8 p.m.: May 9, May 16 (previews); May 23; May 30; June 6; June 13

Fridays at 8 p.m.: May 10, May 17 (previews); May 24; May 31; June 7; June 14
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: May 11 (preview); May 18 (opening); May 25; June 1; June 8; June 15
Sundays at 4 p.m.: May 12 (preview); May 19; May 26; June 2; June 9; June 16

WHERE:
The Los Angeles Theatre Center

514 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles CA 90013

PARKING:
$8 with box office validation at Los Angeles Garage Associate Parking structure, 545 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 (between 5th and 6th Streets, just behind the theater)

• Metered parking available on streets surrounding the theater.
• Take the Metro: nearest stop is Pershing Square (two blocks west of The LATC)

TICKET PRICES:
$10-$48
(except opening night)

• Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (except opening night, May 18): $48
• Students, Seniors, Veterans and LAUSD teachers: $20 with valid ID

• All Thursday night performances and previews: $10
• Opening night (May 18): $75 (includes post-performance reception)


HOW:
www.latinotheaterco.org
(213) 489-0994

# # #