Tuesday, March 27, 2007

LA getting RealTalk in May; Good News

Denver teatro readings.
East LA Rep extends Black Butterfly run.
Tia Chucha's reopening

RealtalkLA Launches magazine to hit streets in May.

Watch out Tu Ciudad! There's a new lifestyle magazine coming to town and it's pointing in your direction. The big difference is RealTalk LA is a free monthly magazine and website that intends to carve its nickle out of the LA Times, LA Free Press, Pasadena Weekly.

Publisher Jay Levin and staff threw an open house recently to launch the magazine. Located a mile north of the Spring Street headquarters of the Los Angeles Times, the old industrial building has been spiffed up into a modern-day information factory.

A magnificent stage set painting by Margaret Garcia greets the visitor to Real TalkLA's studio. It's a warren of spaces partitioned into ten foot walls. Bundles of cable snake their way in the shadows at the walltops. Muy high tech place, a web and print design studio like this. A panorama of Garcia's larger paintings lines the corridors. I turn a corner and there is Margaret and her prima Cookie.

Real Talk LA's web executive Kamren Curiel admires Garcia's work and took the opportunity to sit at the tequila tasting table and chat about Curiel's collection. Publisher Jay Levin stopped at Margaret's table to say "hello." Culture Clash's Ric Salinas arrived a few moments later, and the actor and publisher shared a few quick laughs.

Real Talk LA is not Chicana Chicano media, but it'll have an influence and be influenced by. The target audience is 600,000 mid-twenties to low fifties second and third generation ethnics of all flavors. Gente who pump at family rates around $70,000 a year into the local advertisers' pockets.

In Los Angeles, this is code language for a lot of Mexicans. The publisher knows Black and Asian communities make up a lucrative chunk of Real Talk LA's market. Given the look and feel of the launch, there's almost a guarantee of better diversity here, than say, the LA Times, whose westside bias censors arts coverage of the Northeast and Eastside of town. Lastima. Pendejos. And with color and polished paper covers, a better value than newsprint, so wacha LA Free Press and Pasadena Weekly.

Advertising positioned in a package like this gains instant credibility. Levin's slick package has the gloss and high style to make the product sizzle, in so far as the team can put forth a quality piece month after month after month. The temptation to lean to the west, toward Hollywood must loom in the editor's mind.

Levin has good people working with him. Culture Clash, for example, is discussing a monthly humor and culture column, according to Salinas. La Bloga hopes the magazine and website will feature monthly literature and reading columns. Real Talk LA's staff will be the secret ingredient. Judging by the open house, most of these are: Young. Attractive. Dynamic go-getters. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do.


Denver Troupe Brings Teatro to the Frontrange

email from the Troupe to Manuel Ramos...

Su Teatro announces Spring Reading Series

El Centro Su Teatro proudly announces its Spring Reading Series—a vehicle for new play development aimed at discovering and nurturing new and innovative playwriting talent through live reading, examination, discussion, and critique.

The Spring Reading Series will kickoff Wednesday, March 28 at 7pm at the Laughing Bean Café on 10th and Santa Fe, and the series will continue each Wednesday through April 18—same time, same place. Su Teatro company actors and guest artists will read the select playscripts and audience members will be invited to participate in talkback discussions.

Leading off the series will be “Braided Sorrow” by Marisela Treviño Orta—a poetic meditation on the unsolved murders of female maquiladora workers in Ciudad Juarez. “Braided Sorrow” won the prestigious 2006 University of California Irvine Chicano/Latino Literary Prize, and it will receive a full production this fall, kicking off Su Teatro’s 2007-2008 35th Anniversary Season.

“Braided Sorrow” will be followed by “Las Monedas de Ismael” by Aaron Vieyra (April 4), “The Kinetic End” by Valarie Castillo (April 11), and “El Blanco” by John Kuebler, which was a finalist for the 2007 Rocky Mountain Theatre Association Playwriting Award (April 18). All four plays explore contemporary themes that challenge our beliefs and test our resolve, including economic exploitation, alcoholism, terminal illness, and identity politics.

For more information about Su Teatro’s Spring Reading Series, please contact El Centro Su Teatro at (303) 296-0219 or readings@suteatro.org. Also visit www.suteatro.org, www.myspace.com/elcentrosuteatro, and www.myspace.com/thelaughingbeancafe

East LA Rep captivated everyone who saw its staging of Sandra Cisneros' House on Mango Street.


Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Pinata Woman and other Super Hero Girls, Like Me.

created by Luis Alfaro
written by Maria Elena Cervantes, Sandra C. Munoz, & Marisela Norte

Feb 23 - April 1, 2007
Friday & Saturdays @ 8 pm
Sundays @ 3 pm

Admission: $8-20 Sliding Scale

El Gallo Plaza Theater
4545 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022

For info and to RSVP please call (323) 276- 1868
www.eastlarep.com or www.myspace.com/eastlarep

The upsanddowns of bricks and mortar indie bookstores have more ups than downs this week, in news from the San Fernando Valley...

email from Luis Rodriguez to Daniel Olivas

Come to Tia Chucha's Grand Opening of our New Space -- March 31
Grand Opening of Tia Chucha's New Space -- March 31 from 4 to 8 PM

I'm glad to invite everyone to the grand opening of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural this Saturday, March 31, from 4 to 8 PM. It will be at the new space that we've finally painted and organized after we were forced to vacate our old store/center in Sylmar (the new location is only 10 minutes away from there).

This will be an easy-going evening of food, poetry, raffles, and presentations by our instructors and some of their students from our various workshops, including Son Jarocho Mexican traditional music, Guitar, African Drumming, DJing, Reiki Healing, Danza Azteca, Mexikayotl Indigenous Cosmology, and more. Books will also be on sale as well as sign-ups for our events and workshops.

Your humble servant will be your host.

We will also be starting our regular schedule for "Noche Bohemias" (guitar, song, and poetry, mostly for our Spanish-speaking community), Open Mic (poetry, Hip Hop, Song for anyone), Film, and more (this schedule will be available on Saturday).

The new space is nice and clean, located at 10258 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91340 (on the corner of Foothill and Wheatland, in front of the Number 91 Bustop). Our new phone number is 818-896-1479.

Please join us as we try to re-weave the amazing tapestry of song, dance, words, theater, art, and ideas that temporarily unraveled with our move. However, we have the regenerative power as community to start anew, to continue our important work, and to prepare for better days ahead. You'll love our new space.

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