The Latina Christmas Special
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The Latina Christmas Special, written and performed by acclaimed comedians Diana Yanez, Maria Russell and Sandra Valls, returns to The Los Angeles Theatre Center this holiday season. Directed by Geoffrey Rivas, the Latino Theater Company production runs Nov. 19 though Dec. 18, with two low-priced previews on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18.
You thought your holidays with the family were dramatic? Wait until you hear these touching and hilarious Christmas stories of holidays past from three first-generation Latinas: the Texas-born, Mexican American Valls (Showtime’s Latin Divas of Comedy); Miami-born, Cuban-American Yanez (Margaret Cho’s The Sensuous Woman); and, the daughter of “an over-dedicated Mexican mother and compliant Lithuanian father,” Russell (Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema’s Lights Out). When these three sassy friends get together, they drink plenty of tequila, dish about everything from moms to cucarachas to Farrah Fawcett, and share their funny and surprisingly personal stories of childhood Christmas “dramas.”
“These stories touch each and every audience member, no matter their background, on many different levels,” Rivas says. “They are also a window into some of the beautiful traditions we have within the Latino community.”
According to Yanez, “The ‘special’ in the title is an homage to all the TV shows we watched growing up — all those ‘Christmas Specials’ that we so closely identified with during the holidays, but that had no Latinos in them (or maybe just Jose Feliciano).”
Last year Rivas, who had seen an earlier version, offered to direct and bring the show to The LATC where it was a huge success. In its “Critic’s Choice” review, the Los Angeles Times called Rivas’ production “hilarious and heartwrenching… [a] very special ‘Special’,” and Stage Raw hailed its “universal humor, gumption, sass and hearts brimming with dynamic stories.”
Performances of The Latina Christmas Special take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. from Nov. 19 through Dec. 18 (dark Thursday, Nov. 24 and Thursday, Dec. 8), plus one additional performance on Monday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. There will be two preview performances, on Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18, both at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $24 – $32; previews range from $17 – $22. The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or go to www.thelatc.org.