Los Angeles, California – Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe, a play with music, heralded by Latino Weekly as a “beautifully crafted multimedia experience,” returns to Plaza de la Raza’s Margo Albert Theatre in Lincoln Heights for eight performances only from April 4-14, 2019. The play, featuring an ensemble of actors, dancers, and musicians, includes the “reimagined Los Lobos songbook as a reverb-drenched ’60s garage band” performed by Nina Diaz (Girl in a Coma), who David Brown (KUT/NPR) calls “one of the…most exciting, scary-good vocalists in rock today.”
Evangeline, co-created by Louie Pérez (Los Lobos), Theresa Chavez (who also directs), and Rose Portillo (Zoot Suit) is set in 1968. As East Los Angeles explodes in its own civil rights movement, the Sunset Strip’s music captivates a recent high school graduate named Evangeline. She struggles with her identity as a devoted daughter by day and a West Hollywood go-go dancer by night. Exploring what lies across the L.A. River, Evangeline spreads her wings and lands in the enticing world of the burgeoning Hollywood art and music scene. As part of her personal journey, she must reconcile her need to hold on to familial bonds and her relationship to the changing neighborhood of her childhood.
Nina Diaz elaborates “the Evangeline story not only focuses attention on the Latino community but embraces, with grace, the struggles Latinas face as we start to find our own independence from our family — showing respect to our roots, yet striving for growth and finding our voices. It’s an honor to interpret the music of David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez of Los Lobos. Coming from rock ‘n’ roll roots, I’m excited to embrace the garage rock sound of The Neighborhood band.“ Diaz’s own career has been nurtured by rock’n’roll icon Joan Jett, who signed Girl In A Coma to her label, Blackheart Records, and paved the way for the band to open for Morrissey, Tegan and Sara, and to earn multiple Independent Music Awards.
The Evangeline remount is part of a two-year Evangeline Initiative which also expands opportunities for highest-risk and educationally disadvantaged youth by allowing them to experience the power of the 1968 era depicted in this play by offering admission to morning matinees and specialized workshops.
“The restaging of this production” Theresa Chavez explains, “is not only part of our Evangeline Initiative but is also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the East L.A. Walkouts and continues our work on the Chicano Legacy Project. It allows us to bring this consequential history to the youth and community of East L.A. and the entire City of Los Angeles. We’re thrilled to have Nina Diaz joining the production. Her participation continues our history of working with unique musical talent including Alejandro Escovedo, Gaby Moreno, Quetzal, and Louie Pérez and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.”
The cast includes Sarah Cortez performing the lead role of Evangeline. She will be joined by Elizabeth Alvarez, Adrian Brizuela, Moises Castro, Lennon Hobson, and Keyla Monterroso Mejia.
ADDITIONAL EDUCATION COMPONENTS
– Intensive Residency at Monterey High School; East L.A. continuation high school (at Garfield HS) – highest-risk students will study Evangeline themes and write plays reflecting their own lives. (JAN-MARCH; Culmination with professional actors at Monterey HS – March 27; time TBA)
– Workshops at five East L.A. and Pasadena high schools for highest-risk and educationally disadvantaged youth, exploring Evangeline themes, and historic period.
– Free Morning Matinees of Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe for high school students – April 3rd and 12th for Residency and Workshop students
– Evangeline Discovery Guide – explores 1960s cultural & political history; distribution to Residency and Workshop students.
PERFORMANCE DATES AND TIMES (Plaza de la Raza’s Margo Albert Theatre at 3540 N. Mission Rd., Los Angeles 90031):
Thursday, April 4th at 8PM Preview
Friday, April 5th at 8PM Preview
Saturday, April 6th at 8PM Opening
Sunday, April 7th at 7PM
Thursday, April 11th at 8PM
Friday, April 12th at 8PM
Saturday, April 13th at 8PM
Sunday, April 14th at 3PM
TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets available for $15-35