Real community issues acted out on stage in dramatic fashion

By Leticia Rhi Buckley
Published on LatinoLA: September 24, 2002


The Latino Theatre Company presents the world premiere of "dementia," a humorous and poignant story that revolves around Moe, a Latino who is dying of AIDS, and his sexy drag queen alter ego, Lupe. dementia is a new play written by Evelina Fernandez and directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela, Artistic Director of the Latino Theatre Company and produced by LTC members Geoffrey Rivas, Jose Antonio Mercado and co-produced by The Wall-Las Memorias Project.

With dementia, the first of its kind production to tackle the HIV/AIDS issue in the Latino community, The Latino Theatre Company continues its tradition of bringing innovative productions to the Los Angeles theatrical community. With a series of firsts in theatre -- the first to bring a Latino political piece to a main stage (August 29), the first to present Latino magic realism (Roosters), and the innovators of the Dia de Los Muertos/Latino comedy night (Noche de Risa y Susto) -- the Latino Theatre Company continues to address the real issues facing the Latino community and strives to inspire dialogue.

The cast of dementia features the remarkable talents of the Latino Theatre Company (LTC). Sal Lopez, a founder of the LTC and star of such films as American Me, Luminarias, and Price of Glory, portrays Moe. Richard Coca, fresh from completing the hit films Minority Report and The Mexican, appears as you?ve never seen him before with his interpretation of Lupe. Other members of the all-Latino cast are Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez, Evelina Fernandez, Danny de la Paz, and Tonantzin Esparza.

dementia will open at the Tom Bradley Theatre, Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) on Thursday, October 3, 2002, and play through Sunday, October 20, 2002. Previews begin Tuesday, September 24. Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 South Spring Street in the old bank district of downtown. Secure parking is always available in lots adjacent to the theater. Tickets for dementia are available by calling 213.473.0560. General admission is $24 and $21 and $16 for students/seniors.

Dementia is made possible with the generous support of the Los Angeles City Council, the California State Assembly Latino Caucus, with the leadership from State Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, and The Wall-Las Memorias Project. The Wall-Las Memorias Project, a non-profit HIV/AIDS community education organization, every day sees firsthand the overwhelming need for HIV/AIDS awareness and education in the Latino community. As such, The Wall-Las Memorias is eager to support every possible vehicle for community outreach and is pleased to join forces with such a prestigious and talented group.

About The Latino Theatre Company

Since 1985, the Latino Theatre Company has been dedicated to developing and performing award-winning productions in mainstream theaters such as the Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) and the Mark Taper Forum. In 1996, LTC began its inaugural season, becoming Los Angeles? only professional Latino theater company in Los Angeles to work under an Actor?s Equity Theater Contract. Included was the world premiere of Luminarias, written by LTC co-founder Evelina Fernandez and directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela. Following the success of Luminarias in 1998, the company ventured into motion pictures by forming Sleeping Giant Productions and making Luminarias into a feature film. In 2001, the Latino Theatre Company returned to its place of origin at the LATC to continue its mission of creating passionate and truthful theater. For more information please see http://www.latinotheater.com or call the Latino Theatre Company at 213.489.0994.

Image: Detail from art piece by Yolanda Gonzalez

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