Thespian Thoughts – Theatre Review of I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinking Badges at CASA 0101 THEATER

I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinking Badges – a real look into a part of film history that’s not usually spoken about.
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Hi. I’m Brett Chapin and welcome to Thespian Thoughts. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Casa 0101 recently invited me to see their newest show, I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinkin Badges. The play had it’s world premiere in 1986 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and hasn’t returned to Southern California until now. It was written by Luis Valdez, who is probably best know for La Bamba and directed by Hector Rodriguez. One set is used throughout the entire show which is the living room of the Villa family.

The show begins as Sonny Villa (played by Alex Valdiva) returns home unexpectedly from college. In tow is his new love interest Anita (played by Elizabeth Pan). Alex has a big announcement to make. He’s dropped out of Harvard Law School and plans to devote his time to his new chosen profession, acting. His parents, Buddy and Connie (played by Carmelita Maldonado and Daniel E. Mora) have mixed feelings about this. They love and support their son but they’re both actors, so they know how difficult it is to make money. Especially for a minority.
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It’s a bit of a show within a show as the action taking place on stage is also the plot of a live audience sitcom, that’s being taped while the events unfold. Valdez seems to to making a strong statement about Chicano actors in the play. In the early days of cinema it was very difficult for minority actors to be cast in film, other than playing stereotypical parts like maids or gardeners. He makes a grand statement and it’s interesting to think about how things have changed and how in other ways they’ve remained the same. I think actors will particularly enjoy this show as it’s a real look into a part of film history that’s not usually spoken about.
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A charming set surrounds the actors and the choice by director Hector Ramirez to have the actors move often is a good one and adds to the chaos of Act 2 and Sonny’s eventual decent into madness. I enjoyed the fact that the show opens with a clip from the film Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which explains the origins of the title. There are also several comedic moments and it’s interesting to note that there’s an actual art gallery inside the lobby of the theatre.
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Until next time, I’m Brett Chapin. This is Thespian Thoughts and I’ll see you at the theatre. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

JOSEFINA LOPEZ, Artistic Director
Written by LUIS VALDEZ
Directed by HECTOR RODRIGUEZ <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Cast: Carmelita Maldonado (of El Sereno as Connie Villa), Daniel E. Mora (of Glendale as Buddy Villa), Elizabeth Pan (a native of Thousand Oaks and resident of Beverly Hills as Anita Sakai) and Alex Valdivia (of Santa Monica as Sonny Villa) under the direction of Hector Rodriguez (of South Pasadena). Joe Camareno (of Burbank) appears in the cameo role of Reporter. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Photos by Ed Krieger<p< < p=””> </p< <>

The New Casa 0101 Theater
2102 E. First Street (at St. Louis Street)
Boyle Heights, CA 90033 <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
And Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
February 8 – March 10, 2013
For more information, visit Casa 0101 <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Thespian Thoughts is a live theatre review show on Actors Entertainment, a channel of the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay production.

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