Los Angeles Theater, Music & Dance Preview: CULTURE CLASH’S OG SUMMER DESMADRE (John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood)

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by Dale Reynolds on July 11, 2017

in Dance,Music,Theater-Los Angeles


Founded in 1984, L.A.’s very own veteran satirical Latino comedy troupe, “Culture Clash” (Herbert Siguenza, Ric Salinas and Richard Montoya) is headlining a one-night-only variety-extravaganza on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at the Ford Amphitheatre (newly revamped to the tune of $72.2 million), opposite the Hollywood Bowl.

Now in their mid-to-late 50s, the trio—who collectively and individually have an enormous rabble-rousing bag o’ tricks at their disposal—will showcase their native brand of humor alongside other veteran Latino groups, such as legendary Latin R&B band Tierra; Chicana punk rocker Alice Bag (pictured above) and her band; Mariachi trio La Victoria; and standup comedians Rudy Moreno, Emilio Rivera and Sandra Valls (pictured below), as well as a special appearance by Pacífico Dance Company.

When interviewed by phone, both Siguenza and Salinas promise to “return to our roots”—the early days when Culture Clash used to open for bands. They will be hosting the evening with their pointed, satirical, anti-Trump brand of humor, taking on the venerated role of “OG” (“Old Guard,” or “Old Gangster” in Barrio-speak). As Siguenza puts it: “We’ve always been a satirical group of theater artists, social commentators on the Latino/Chicano experience in America, by telling truth to power.”

They have created a strong position in Latino culture, to be made stronger by the understanding that Hispanics have become the majority racial/cultural group in California, thus opening up larger venues for interested and motivated audiences.

To that end, CC has written, collectively or individually, several plays—mainly comedies with bite—that deal with Chicano history: Water and PowerZorro In Hell, SF: The Mexican Bus Mission Tour, their PBS showing of A Bowl of Beings, Radio Mambo, site-specific shows Nuyorican Stories and Bordertown (for San Diego Rep), Chavez Ravine (Mark Taper), American Nights: The Ballad of Juan Jose (Kirk Douglas), and Placas (for Latino Theatre Company), among many others.

They’re labeling this “mash-up” of talents as a post-Independence Day OG Summer Desmadre (“desmadre” meaning “a wild, chaotic rave.”) This will include a Viva La Raza Jeopardy segment, a Trump piñata (with all that that image entails), more sketches, and with CC as hosts, all of the music and dance.

This past January, they unveiled their take on the Aristophanes’ comedy, The Frogs, at the Getty Villa indoors theatre, and next May they’ll present an updated Bordertown Now! at the Pasadena Playhouse. Also next year at S.D. Rep, they’ll debut Siguenza’s Beach Town, and in September will present themselves as the only Los Angeles troupe to perform in LTC’s Hispanic Theatre and Dance feast, Encuentro Theatre Festival.

For Salinas, the event has weight even as it is “taking a pause from the on-going government noise. We’ve always had a target in our humor, that notion of crossing the line to expose bad behavior. This show will allow the audience to let down its hair—we’ll jolt them—so they will not be disappointed. It’s the middle of summer, under the stars, guys, time to goose the authorities. We and our comics will take on immigration, Russia, Trump—two hours of great fun.”

Culture Clash’s OG Summer Desmadre
part of IGNITE @ The FORD!
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd East
plays Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 7:30
for tickets, call 323.461.3673 or visit Ford

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