“Por la Quince hehehehe,” sums up the latest installment of Casa 0101’s production of “El Verde.” That’s because “La Quinceanera,” played by Ramona Pilar Gonzales, steals the show in an unexpected turn of events. Gonzales does a terrific job of playing “El Verdes,”Anthony Aguilar, most nefarious foe. Like any scorned woman, she is driven by the heart ache of a past lover, detective Johnny Angel, Gabriel Guillen. This is the fourth installment in this on going serious revolving around the origins of the shows major characters “El Verde” and “La Quinceanera”.
For fans of the show, old and new alike, questions about how “El Verde” and “Quince” came to be are finally answered in the most comical and hilarious way possible thanks in part to Aguilar, the writer and director Alejandra Cisneros. The show waste no time delving into the origins of how and why “El Verde” decided to become a superhero who fights for truth, justice and the Mexican American way. At the same time “La Quinceaneras” origins and decision to become a super villain are explored and explained along with her past relationship to detective Angel. The over all story is well written and Aguilars growth as a writer and actor are maturing with each and every show, as well as the rest of the entire cast.
The jokes and slapstick comedy found in “El Verde” is both simple and smart and it will have audience members laughing the entire time. Oscar Basulto does a great job as the shows announcer. His enthusiasm gives the audience the feeling that you’re listening to an old radio program from the ‘30s. Waiting and sitting patiently for him to announce the next episode. He also has minor, but comical roles in the commercials that break up the seven over all episodes of the show. You also have to keep an eye on Basulto during the show because despite being hidden in the back, away from all the action, his clever gestures and reactions to what’s happening on stage will have you cracking smiles and giggles. Blanca Melchor, who plays “El Verdes” wife Martha, gives a great performance out staging Aguilar at times. She also performs a wonderful A capella with Gonzales and Miriam Moses, “La Llorona Lisa,” for one of the shows commercials. “La Quinceanera” is aided by her and her chambalanes “Uno,” played by Carlos Zeyala and “Dos,” Jeremiah Ocanas who also plays “The Kukaracha King.” together they give “El Verde” a run for his money with their minor, but funny roles. Acana does a wonderful job bringing back “The Kukaracha King” along with Luke Lizalde, “Gnat” and “Pinata Monster.” Ocana and Lizalde work great together giving a funny performance that will get big laughs from the audience. Karla Ojeda also reprises her role as the villain “Frita Kahlo.” Her rendition of a Kahlo gone mad and armed with a gun that turns people into monkeys will have the audience gasping for air. With so much action and comedy packed into one show, it’s no surprise that it runs more than two and a half hours long, making for some sore rear ends. Given Casa’s small size, there isn’t much to be had in terms of production value and props. Despite their limited space and production value, the show is well produced and the cast and crew make do with what they have. After the first episode, that small stage will turn into another world right before the audience’s eyes. The story flows nice and evenly allowing for a fast pace building the climax of the story until the final act. Despite this, there are still a few moments in between that slow down the rising action, mostly in scenes with too much aimless talking between characters. Overall, “El Verde” delivers great laughs and moments that will not disappoint the audience. If your not doing anything this weekend or your looking to try something new, take in an “El Verde” show. You’ll have a great time and you’ll be supporting local theater and arts. “El Verde” will be having its last three shows this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Reservations are recommended and tickets are $10. Casa 0101 is located at 2009 E. First Street Los Angeles, CA 90033 where there motto is “park on Cummings.”