June 6, 2004
How an L.A. Times article on Latino theater in Los Angeles could omit the work of the nation's top Chicano/ Latino theater troupe and its landmark work, "Chavez Ravine," at the Mark Taper Forum is confounding ("It's Still All Work, No Play," May 23). Culture Clash should be a Los Angeles treasure. If [Ricardo Montalban Foundation head] Jerry Velasco and [playwright-director] Luis Valdez had seen "Chavez Ravine" at the Mark Taper Forum, they would have seen a theater troupe in touch with its audience, a troupe and a theater in touch with their city and the building of that city that is L.A. "Chavez Ravine" was that rare Chicano play that transcended "Latino theater" while maintaining its barrio worldview.
June 16, 1991 |
Resist Much, Obey Little. -- Walt Whitman Yeah, but Walt Whitman never had to do a sitcom in Hollywood . --Richard Montoya, of Culture Clash The plan sounded simple: Put three, hip Latino guys in a prime-time sitcom. Latinos who spoke fluent English without an accent and didn't conform to the stereotypes that many whites have of Latinos as being lazy, or drug dealers, or murderous gangbangers.
March 20, 2008 |
Forget "The Real Housewives of Orange County." When the theatrical trio Culture Clash researched the O.C. for its documentary-style show, "Culture Clash in AmeriCCa," moms in McMansions were the last things on its minds. Instead the group talked to Vietnamese car gangs, Mexican day laborers, the owners of a swingers club and even the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Rally Monkey. For years, the group has been taking "AmeriCCa" across the country, creating a compilation of scenes and monologues inspired by interviews in cities along the way. For its stop in Orange County, 20% of the show is new material with a fresh, local flavor.
October 25, 2009 |
A few weeks ago, on a fog-enshrouded night in Malibu, Richard Montoya stepped onstage in full mariachi regalia to welcome his audience to what he slyly called the "Getty Pancho Villa." The occasion was a performance of "Peace," Aristophanes' perpetually timely 2,400-year-old antiwar comedy, updated to take stock of the latest global quagmires and packed with references to Michael Jackson, Brentwood versus Boyle Heights sensibilities and other punchy anachronisms. The actors included avant-garde stalwart John Fleck and prolific TV and stage veteran Amy Hill.
December 19, 2009 |
Tribal thinking and tribal identity factor heavily in Richard Montoya's new play "Palestine, New Mexico," running through Jan. 24 at the Mark Taper Forum. There's the close-knit tribe otherwise known as the U.S. military. An American Indian tribe that must deal with the loss of one of its sons, Pfc. Ray Birdsong, killed in Afghanistan under mysterious circumstances. The tribal intrigues of the Taliban forces sowing mayhem throughout Central Asia. There's even an allusion to the lost tribes of Israel -- and to the diaspora that brought Jews from Europe to the American Southwest -- in Montoya's comedic drama, in which strands of Chicano, Jewish and Native American history are knotted together in one thick, complex braid.
October 26, 1995 |
Our Mexican American parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents never waited for Halloween to scare the living daylights out of us kids who would easily fall victim to horrifying tales of death, abduction and, yes, domestic violence. These fanciful tales have been honed down throughout the centuries, concocted by Spanish invaders to provoke fear and guilt in wild savages who would have only to turn to Christianity for salvation. Yes, my radical Chicano father used the same tactics as the oppressive Spaniards to get us children to buckle down out of sheer fear and guilt.