I went with my husband to see Josefina's Lopez's latest play Kiss My Mistletoe at CASA 0101. It was as hilarious as it was outrageous. Kiss My Mistletoe pokes fun of issues women face during the holidays. The show was broken up into 12 skits that ranged in themes from nosy family members inquiring about why they aren't married yet, TSA pat downs, to food cravings during the holidays. The scenes were as bold and daring as Josefina herself. I was gasping "Oh my God!" and laughing to a point of tears when Josefina was getting patted down in a skit.
What I loved the most about this experience was the interaction between the audience (made up of mostly women) and the actors on stage. We were shocked and laughing so hard, the actors reacted to our loud roars. It made them chuckle and have to pause before they could continue with their lines. That moment, sitting there in the audience, reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Cinema Paradiso.
In Cinema Paradiso, a filmmaker goes back to visit his hometown and recalls when he fell in love with movies at his village's theater and formed a close friendship with the theater's projectionist. For several decades, the theater brought the people together and was the heart of the community. There’s a warm scene in the movie where the villagers are at this quaint Sicilian the theatre, enjoying a movie and rolling with laughter. CASA 0101 reminds me of the theater from the movie Cinema Paradiso.
The skits were a reflection of our culture and our times. Hollywood couldn't have produced a movie quick enough to poke fun of TSA pat downs, and our stories are unrepresented on the big screen. That's why local theater houses are so critical. Grassroots theater houses such as Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights, or Breath of Fire Theatre Ensemble in Santa Ana bring the community together to celebrate our culture and share our stories.
Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble
Theme Song from Cinema Paradiso