Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's review of comedian Gallagher's recent show at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts was a candid, insightful and extremely diplomatic assessment of what surely must have been an evening of painful emotional trauma for audience and performers alike ("Crossed-Up Crossover," July 3).
Although I was not in attendance, I must say that reading the review was one of the most exhilarating and joyous events of my literary year. Like the first time I read "You Can't Take It With You," "The Front Page" or "Drink Cultura," I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
Although I have not considered performing since retiring from ASCO (a performance and art collective) in 1984, my wife, Bibbe, thinks I could make a good living simply reading the review to the humor-starved masses. I think she may be right. Perhaps it is the way I read it.
P.S. What were the Latino comedians on the bill thinking?
SEAN CARRILLO, North Hollywood
I never imagined I would find myself using the words "Gallagher" and "laughter" in the same sentence. Valdes-Rodriguez's review of Gallagher's travesty had me so convulsed with laughter, I would have gladly paid $26 just to hear it read from onstage.
DON DiPIETRO, Pasadena
In her article, Valdes-Rodriguez wrote that I make "a living mocking Jennifer Lopez's bottom" and "stereotyping Chicanos." She doesn't have a clue!
I make a living as an actress, not a comedian. I started doing my comedy routine to criticize and expose the stereotypes imposed on Latino actors by the television and film industry in Hollywood. If she had paid any attention to my material, she would know I was blasting gringos for their unfair casting practices, ignorance and their portrayal of Latinos as "Un-people: Undocumented, Unemployed, Uneducated and On-drugs."
Gallagher is a gringo, and many will criticize him for trying to cross over to the Latino market. But don't most Latino performers (actors and comedians) spend their entire careers trying to cross over and conquer the U.S. market? Furthermore, Gallagher hired a Latino producer for his show and paid me, a Latino performer, 50 times more than comics are paid at "Latino nights" at the Conga Room (owned by Latinos) or the Laugh Factory.
DYANA ORTELLI, Burbank
I don't think that I've been as charmed by a piece since Dorothy Parker, or so it seems. Let's have much more of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez!
MARTIN RUBIN, Northridge
Much like the banks who thought they could target Hispanics simply by literally translating ads from English and printing checks depicting brown-skinned people making tortillas and playing maracas, Gallagher's attempt at reaching the Latino community landed, unsurprisingly, with a resounding thud.
After reading your reporter's account of the comedian's foray into performing en espan~ol, two words come to mind: muy pendejo (poor usage intentional).
J. VEGA, Eagle Rock
As long as comedians and others in the "entertainment" industry continue to think that obscenities, in any language, and that most obligatory of American traditions--the good 'ol food-throwing (fight) scene--are a recipe for success, they are in, duh, for a rude awakening. Go back to Remedial Cultural Awareness for Dummies.
MANNY CERVANTES, Diamond Bar