TEATRO MOZ ends today October 16, 2016 at 5pm
|Miriam Peniche, Edmundo Rubio, Brenda Perez, Toni Santoyo, Rosa Navarrete|
Photo by Gary Coronado / LA Times
I've done some pretty cool stuff this year folks, and a lot of discovering in terms of career goals and pursuit of purpose. I feel like I should have written 100 posts throughout the summer, but a las too many balls in the air. The past few days have been restful, and I'm getting back into the gear of things. Upcoming readings, projects, and video jobs will be keeping my heart a flutter through the end of this year. And this pursuit of purpose has been gratifying and challenging, to say the least. I'd be lying if I said that I am not scared to my wits -- of all these changes -- but it's time to make them. The time is now!
I am happy to share that part of my decision to choose purpose was to audition for the production of Teatro Moz at Casa 0101 Theater. A play festival dedicated to all things Morrissey via his fandom. After Eastside Queer Stories, I met with writer Jaime Mayorquin who informed me of the upcoming auditions, and the history of Teatro Moz at Casa 0101 Theater. I auditioned, wanting to understand why the movement in the Latinx community for his music and lyrics. The cast and crew has attended some Morrissey events in East LA to learn more about the culture. In the process, I have fallen in love with folks who follow his music! They are just beautiful people: this includes bandmates and cast members in the show (Jaime Mayorquin, Chloe Diaz, Toni Santoyo, Alexandro D. Hernández Gutiérrez). Things fell into place, and the lyrics to his songs -- satirical, ironic, lovely, longing... began to feel nurturing and meaningful. "Mozlandia," as we learned from Dr. Melissa Hidalgo (one of our guests speakers and contributors to the Prologue of the show), has embraced Morrissey as he describes perfectly what it means to feel inadequate in a world where "normalcy" rules. In a lot of ways, it describes the immigrant experience and heaviness that comes from feeling like you're neither here nor there. The Mozlandia community come together via various events in Los Angeles to celebrate the connection they feel with his music. I've ended up hugging strangers, seeing people rush the stage, feeling the same heartfelt emotion from a room full of people singing along to "First of the Gang To Die." Events like Morrissey-oke at Eastside Luv, and watching Maladjusted (Morrissey and The Smiths) Tribute Band perform at Cities Restaurant all contributed to our experience. The cast and crew soaked it all in.
Today marks the end of Teatro Moz. I've been acting, singing, and dancing in this show with the most incredible group of people. I have never met a group of artists so committed to their craft that it makes things fun beyond belief! FUN and PLAY are at the core of all things that make us present in theater. Achieving that is an ever continuous discovery, but putting that into practice with this group of individuals has been a joy. We have been revisiting old wounds, remembering old loves, recalling places in our bodies that make us feel alive so that maybe...just maybe, someone can connect with the material -- heal -- and feel less alone in the world.
Thank you Michael Patrick Spillers, Elvia Rubalcava, Jaime Mayorquin, Josefina Lopez, Emmanuel Deleage, Brenda Chavez, Cristina "Crispie" Carrillo-Dono, and everyone who made this production possible.
Thank you cast, for filling my heart every night with hope for humanity.
If you're reading this, and you're in LA...our last performance is today at 5pm. Come, escape, and sing along. We really don't mind if you sing with us.
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Check out some of our reviews below:
LA Times Article: latimes.com/teatro-moz-morrissey-story.html
Brooklyn & Boyle Article: brooklynboyle.com/celebrating-morrissey-at-teatro-moz.html