Los Otros Review- A look in the lives of two California natives

With book and lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh and music by Michael John LaChiusa, Los Otros tells the tale of a woman and a man and their significant Californian stories that covers decades of their lives as well over 70 years of Southern California history. Directed by multiple Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele, the play takes place at the Center Group/Mark Taper Forum located in downtown Los Angeles.



The first act begins with a Southern California woman (played by Tony-Award winner Michele Pawk) whose life is defined by three significant chance encounters with Mexican immigrants. The first story takes place when she is just a little girl and she and her sisters discover a Mexican family hiding away in a cave. In the second story, she crosses the border to find a maid and ends up with a friend. The third story she talks about taking the virginity of an 18 year old Mexican that is working the burrito stand that she finds herself at after a few too many drinks.



In the second act, we follow the life of a 75 year old Mexican American (played by Julio Monge).He starts his story with his mother who barely manages to survive a deadly storm and decides to flee to California. A few years later, he begins as a young kid working in a store but quickly finds himself as well as his family working in a Central Valley orchard during WWII. His story continues into his adulthood where he has been with his partner for 15 years and discusses the problems that are starting to arise.



Michele Pawk's previous work on Broadway includes “Hollywood Arms,” for which she won a Tony Award, “Hairspray,” “Losing Louie,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Cabaret” (Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle nominations). Along with numerous off-Broadway and regional credits, she can be heard on eight original cast recordings, plus several compilation albums and books on tape.



Julio Monge’s previous work on Broadway include “Twelfth Night,” directed by Nicholas Hytner, Paul Simon’s “The Capeman,” “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway,” “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” “Fosse,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Victor/Victoria.”  He also appeared nationally and internationally in “Aurelia’s Oratorio,” directed by Victoria Thierre Chaplin.



As the sole performers of this musical, they create a very intimate environment with their audience. Both Pawk and Monge give a compelling performance, pulling you in with both spoken words and beautiful songs that keep you involved from beginning to end. Pawk delivers her lines as if she is truly speaking to the audience as if she is just conversing with a close friend while Monge speaks with such an open, carefree tone that it just brings out a smile and chuckle even when he talks about a serious situation such as the struggles with his partner.

www.centertheatregroup.org

May 23- July 1, 2012

Mark Taper Forum
at the Music Center
downtown Los Angeles

135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012 

 

 



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