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THEATER : Bilingual Plays Will Speak Holiday Lovers' Language

December 19, 1991|ROSE APODACA | Rose Apodaca is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to The Times Orange County Edition.

If another year of "A Christmas Carol" is making you a Scrooge and the overkill of "Nutcracker" productions is turning your visions of sugar plums into prunes, two new short plays featured bilingually in Spanish and English might put some zest into your holiday entertainment.

Cucu Cuevez, a Santa Ana-based troupe that brings multicultural theater free to the community, is presenting back-to-back productions of "La Posada" and "Marisol's Christmas" this weekend at Rancho Santiago College. Both shows are accessible enough to be understood by audiences who speak little or no Spanish or English.

The two family-oriented productions, each running about 30 minutes, were written by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, who along with Laurie Woolery and Roy Convoy founded Cucu Cuevez as an unofficial arm of the New Plays and Players Workshop at RSC. Both Gonzalez and Woolery appear in the plays; Gonzalez also directs "La Posada."

In "Marisol's Christmas," an 8-year-old girl who has come to the United States with her parents is temporarily separated from her mother. To calm her fears, her father tells her a story about Cometa, a comet that is captured by Gravidad (gravity) for Seniorita Terra (Ms. Earth). Marisol must help Cometa find a way back to the heavens so it can guide people home for Christmas.

"La Posada" is based on the real-life love story of a Mexican-American who follows a lovely senorita, who had come to Los Angeles to visit family, back across the border to win her heart. Gonzalez borrowed the title for the play, set against a backdrop of navidad festivities, from the Mexican ritual that acts out Joseph and Mary's journey to find sanctuary for the evening.

What: Cucu Cuevez productions of "Marisol's Christmas" and "La Posada."

When: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20 and 21, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Rancho Santiago College, Room P105 in Phillips Hall, North 17th at North Bristol streets, Santa Ana.

Whereabouts: Take the Santa Ana (5) Freeway to 17th Street exit. Head west to North Bristol Street; enter the main parking lot off Bristol Street for Phillips Hall.

Wherewithal: Admission free, but donations are accepted.

Where to Call: (714) 564-5661.

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