Just who is “El Verde” ? How did he come to be ? What’s his favorite kind of tamal ? Those are all questions that will be answered when “El Verde” returns to Casa 0101 this weekend. I had the opportunity to interview Anthony Aguilar, who is the writer and actor behind “El Verde,” to explain some of the shows conceptual origins. For those of you who aren’t familiar with “El Verde,” the show follows the heroic/comedic escapades of Arturo Sanchez, who immigrated from Mexico to live a normal life, but had his world forever changed when he was involved in a freak elote accident, turning him into “El Verde.”
Aguilar came up with the idea of “El Verde” back in late 2006/early 2007 when he was asked to contribute to the then up coming production, “Documenting the Undocumented.” Aguilar used his love for ’50s and ’60s television shows like “The Honeymooners,” “I Love Lucy” and “Batman” to create the basis for “El Verde.” He says that he based the character of Arturo and his wife off Ralph and Alice Kramden. He also credits his father and his mid-life crisis for the characters inception. The villains created to fight “El Verde” such as “The Kukaracha King,” “La LLorona Lisa” and “La Quinceanera” all play on the actors talents and personalities, which add more depth and creativity to their performances. The actors become so involved with their character that they sometimes add lines during rehearsal, making for a stronger performance. Casa 0101 and its actors are all closenit friends. Knowing them on that kind of a personal level, Aguilar exploits the actors traits and string suits to maximize their performance. Such was the case when Aguilar created the villain, “La Quinceanera” with the actress who plays her, Ramona Gonzales. The idea for the villain came about when Gonzales had a 30~niera. Aguilar loved that idea and went with with creating one of the funniest villains “El Verde” fights. The idea for “El Verde” also stems from his love of comic books. Aguilar is an avid fan of comics and it shows itself in the production. The comedy bits, jokes and commercials in the production have Mexicanisms and inside cultural jokes that will have the audience laughing their heads off. However Aguilar also credits the cast of actors and the production crew for helping him come up with story ideas, developing the characters and motivating him to get his work done. All of their collective effort has paid of because “El Verde” is one of Casa 0101s most popular productions. Having learned from the past shows, Aguilar wanted to expand and explain “El Verde’s” origins by focusing more on why “El Verde” does what he does and his relationship to his enemies and basically building on the world he has already created. Think Batman Begins. By focusing the shows main story on the characters origins, fans new and old will be able to enjoy the show without having seen any of the past productions. New stories with the same old characters. If you’ve never seen “El Verde” or any of casa 0101s productions, I urge you to take in an “El Verde” show. Casa 0101 has highly talented actors and great original plays through out the year. “El Verde” starts this Friday at 8 p.m. and continues playing through on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended as “El Verde” will only be playing for two weeks. Tix are $10. For reservations visit their website at casa0101.org I will follow up with a review of “El Verde” as I’m going to go see it Friday. Stop by and say “que honda ?” if you go to the Friday show.