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Press Contact: Lucy Pollak
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Latino Theater Company-devised satire ‘Whittier Boulevard’
tackles ageism, searches for the divine in each of us
LOS ANGELES (REVISED April 28, 2023) — “Let’s take a trip down Whittier Boulevard! ¡Arriba, Arriba!” sang Chicano surf-guitar band Thee Midniters in 1965. Inspired by a classic film named for a different famous boulevard, Latino Theater Company kicks off its 2023 Spring Season with an original, satirical comedy (previously announced for 2022, but delayed due to Covid) that takes its title from the 14-mile heart of East L.A. that has been a hub of commerce, culture and cruising for over 50 years. The world premiere of Whittier Boulevard, created by Evelina Fernández, Sal López, Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez and Jose Luis Valenzuela — the five original, founding ensemble members of the company — will run April 29 through May 28 at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. Low-priced previews begin April 20.
Starring Fernández, Lopez, Rivas and Rodriguez and directed by Valenzuela, Whittier Boulevard is a funny and poignant commentary on ageism, presented in Latino Theater Company’s signature heightened and highly theatrical style.
In this ensemble-devised work, the company uses its trademark blend of comedy, drama, music, dance and theatrical magic to transport us to Los Angeles in the year 2042. Years of fires, torrential rain, anarchy and bloodshed have led to a totalitarian city-state where the elderly disappear, their stories forgotten. When authorities make a surprise visit to the home of faded Chicana starlet Veronica Del Rio on the eve of her 75th birthday, she enlists the help of her loudmouth nurse, a kindhearted policeman-fan, and a down-on-his-luck poet. Will Veronica disappear and be forgotten before she finds true love?
“This ensemble of actors has been working together for the last 38 years,” says Valenzuela. “In this play we look at ageism, but we also explore finding the divine within ourselves so that we can create a better society. It’s fun and campy, but we also address serious social issues, such as the current whittling away of civil rights in this country.”
Whittier Boulevard features original music and sound design by Robert Revell, and choreography by Urbanie Lucero. The creative team includes scenic designer François-Pierre Couture; lighting designer Pablo Santiago; projection designers Yee Eun Nam and Yuki Izumihara; and costume designer Naila Aladdin Sanders. The production managers are Nathan Edelman and May Fei.
The play was workshopped as a streaming presentation for RE:Encuentro 2021, a virtual festival that featured 16 Latinx companies and artists from across the U.S. in digital residence at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
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 38th year, LTC has operated The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a landmark building in Downtown’s Historic Core, since 2006.
Whittier Boulevard opens on Saturday, April 29 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter taking place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through May 28. Six preview performances take place April 20 through April 28 on the same schedule. There will be one additional performance, on Monday, May 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $22–$48, except opening night (April 29) which is $58 and includes both pre- and post-performance receptions, and previews, which are $10.
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 Joe’s Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater).
For more information and to purchase tickets, call (213) 489-0994 or go to www.latinotheaterco.org.
Details for Calendar Listings
The world premiere Whittier Boulevard, an original, ensemble-devised work from L.A.’s Latino Theater Company, employs the company’s trademark blend of comedy, drama, music, dance and theatrical magic to transport us to Los Angeles in the year 2042. Years of fires, torrential rain, anarchy and bloodshed have led to a totalitarian city-state where the elderly disappear, their stories forgotten. When authorities make a surprise visit to the home of faded Chicana starlet Veronica Del Rio on the eve of her 75th birthday, she enlists the help of her loudmouth nurse, a kindhearted policeman-fan, and a down-on-his-luck poet. Will Veronica disappear and be forgotten before she finds true love?
• Created by Evelina Fernández, Sal López, Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez and José Luis Valenzuela
• Directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela
• Starring Evelina Fernández, Sal López, Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez
• Produced by Latino Theater Company
Previews: April 20 – April 27
Performances: April 29 – May 28
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: April 20 (preview); April 27 (preview); May 4; May 11; May 18; May 25
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: April 21 (preview); April 28 (preview); May 5; May 12; May 19; May 26
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: April 22 (preview); April 29 (Opening); May 6; May 13; May 20; May 27
• Sundays at 4 p.m.: April 23 (preview); April 30; May 7; May 14; May 21; May 28
• Monday at 8 p.m.: May 15 ONLY
The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles CA 90013
• $8 with box office validation, Joe’s Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater)
• Metered parking available on streets surrounding the theater.
• Take the Metro: nearest stop is Pershing Square (two blocks west of The LATC).
$22-$48 (except previews and opening night)
• General Admission (except opening night, April 29): $48
• Students, seniors, veterans and LAUSD teachers: $22 with valid ID.
• Previews: $10
• Opening night (April 29): $58 (includes both pre- and post-performance receptions)
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