Through an amalgamation of poetic proses and bits of Caló, Virginia Grise’s play “Blu,” conveys a romanticized view of the life and times of a family living in the barrio. Following the story of a queer Chicana/o mother, that despite their best efforts to keep her family together, is challenged at every turn by the every day violence that manifest itself through gang life, police abuse, the prison industrial complex, militarism and the continued abuse toward women of color. It’s hard no to feel bombarded and lost for split second, when trying to deciphering the multiple themes in the story. Which slows down the momentum of the play at times.
With a delayed reaction, the cast does a remarkable job in balancing and putting a face and heart to the multiple issues being highlighted. Done through multiple character monologues, the ties that both bind and split the family apart rely and play of each other. Creating visibility to the pain Soledad, played by Romi Dias, lives with trying to keep her family together and away from la vida loca she was raised in. Or Lunatico, played by Phillip Garcia, who amidst teenage angst, can’t decide who to call family, the people who share the same blood as him or the vatos locos who spill the same blood on the streets.
The everyday issues facing people of color, in this case a Chicano/a family, living in the inner city meld into the fabric of the neighborhood and its residents. Violence, abuse at home and from the streets turns into an everyday event, where you can tune your clock to it. It’s only when you step that you see how things are, and “blu” does just that. Mirroring what goes on in the barrio is never easy when you live it first hand, but it works when it’s done right.
Presented by “La Colectiva Chorizo y Maguey,” and the Company of Angels, Virginia Grise’s award winning play “blu” is in it’s final week at The Alexandria.
501 S. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles.
Thursday, November 17 at 8pm ($10)
Friday, November 18 at 8pm // SOLD-OUT
Saturday, November 19 at 8pm (Gen Admission $20 $15 Seniors $12 Students)
Sunday, November 20 at 7pm
About Company of Angels
Founded in 1959 as an artist’s cooperative by actors Richard Chamberlain, Leonard Nimoy, Vic Morrow and legendary entertainment attorney Bertram Fields, Company of Angels (CoA) recently celebrated it’s 52nd Anniversary, making it the oldest non-profit professional theater in Los Angeles. Today the Company is dedicated to depicting stories relevant to a diverse Los Angeles audience. The Company develops emerging artists and re-envisions theater to entertain new audiences by producing new work for first-run productions and fosters staged readings and workshops on a regular basis. The Company aims to share and give voice to the many stories that exist in their surrounding communities. Since it’s founding in 1959, the Company has earned a reputation for strong productions of classic American theatre as well as presenting new works. In doing so, the Company has received almost every Los Angeles theatrical award, including the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the Drama-Logue Award, the LA Weekly Award, and the LA Stage Ovation Award. CoA is a proud constituent member of Theater Communications Group (TCG) and the Los Angeles Stage Alliance (LASA). For more information, please call 213-489-3703, or check the Company’s website www.companyofangels.org.
About La Colectiva Chorizo y Maguey
La Colectiva Chorizo y Maguey is Ricardo A. Bracho and Virginia Grise. La Colectiva Chorizo y Maguey began, as most things Mexican and good do, in a kitchen. While doing the dishes, a brown leftist homosexual playwright asked another brown leftist homosexual playwright what the people needed from theater. The response: ‘Chorizo y Maguey.’ Since that time Bracho and Grise have co-adapted a Jack London short story, The Mexican, into a play, The Mexican as Told By Us Mexicans, which has been staged read at Company of Angels. They have also presented a staged reading of Bracho’s Puto, directed by Grise, also at Company of Angels. All libidinal power to the people.