Highly Recommended Theater: TACOS LA BROOKLYN (Los Angeles Theatre Center)

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by Tony Frankel on October 26, 2023

in Theater-Los Angeles

Extended through Nov. 5: Multilingual comic dramaTacos La Brooklyn is quintessential L.A. at The LATC

Appropriation… or appreciation? Latino Theater Company has extended its world premiere, multilingual production of Joel Ulloa‘s Tacos La Brooklyn for three additional performances through Nov. 5, 2023 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Sayaka Miyatani and Paul Dateh
Esperanza America

Chino, a young and ambitious Korean American who grew up in a foster family on Los Angeles’ Eastside, hopes to grow his successful taco stand, “Chino’s Underground Tacos,” into a brick and mortar restaurant. When Yesenia Tapia, a Mexican American social media influencer, accuses Chino of cultural appropriation and pandering to a gentrifying neighborhood, he must convince the community of his cultural authenticity in a multi-faceted and complicated city.

Paul Dateh
Ariel Kayoko Labasan

With its vibrant ‘L.A River Night Market’ setting and easy flow between three languages (English supertitles provided), Tacos La Brooklyn — Directed by Fidel Gomez — looks at cultural identity, interracial dynamics, gentrification, street vendors, social media and cancel culture — all through a distinctly Los Angeles lens.

Zilah Mendoza and Alejandra Flores
Alejandra Flores, Ariel Kayoko Labasan, Gavin K. Lee and Jesus “Chuy” Perez

Tacos La Brooklyn stars Gavin K. Lee as Chino; Esperanza America as Yesenia Tapia; Xavi Moreno, Zilah Mendoza and Alejandra Flores as fellow LA River Night Market vendors Mike, Monse and Lencha; Sal Lopez as Chino’s “abuelito”; Paul DatehAriel Kayoko Labasan and Sayaka Miyatani as “Japanese Cholos” Benjiro, Whisper and Mariko; and Jesus Chuy” Perez as “El Musico.”

Jesus “Chuy” Perez and Xavi Moreno
Jesus “Chuy” Perez, Gavin K. Lee, Xavi Moreno

The creative team includes scenic designer Natalie Morales; lighting designer Pablo Santiago; sound designer John Zalewski; projection designer Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh; costume designer Maria Catarina Rodrigues; and choreographer Urbanie Lucero. The assistant director is Nicolas Ruano. Stage manager is Alexa Wolfe is assisted by Valerie Vega.

Zilah Mendoza, Alejandra Flores, Gavin K. Lee, Jesus “Chuy” Perez and Xavi Moreno
Jesus “Chuy” Perez, Alejandra Flores, Gavin K. Lee

photos by Grettel Cortes Photography

Alejandra Flores and Sal Lopez
Alejandra Flores, Sal Lopez, Jesus “Chuy” Perez

Tacos La Brooklyn
Latino Theater Company in association with East West Players

Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St.
remaining performances:• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 26, Nov. 2• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 27, Nov. 3• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 28 (dark Nov. 4)• Sundays at 4 p.m.: Oct. 29• Sunday at 8 p.m.: Nov. 5
for tickets ($10–$48), call 213.489.0994 or visit LATC
parking ($8) with validation at Joe’s Parking structure,
just south of the theater

Alejandra Flores and Gavin K. Lee

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