teatro de la rosa
the li'l kids in birds of a feather were as charming and energetic as you figured they'd be without being annoyingly stage-precious (and directors yvonne duque and claudia acosta were drilling 'em hard right up to curtain time), but the teens in maricela and the magic shoes were nothing short of revelatory.
the story takes place on a real southside block that was prolly playwright rob bosquez' childhood stomping ground, and centers around a girl who finds a pair of shoes from her early childhood that miraculously still fit and give her magic powers (like hiding from her dad when she doesn't wanna be discovered). being of good heart and giving spirit (the legacy, one gathers, of her dear departed aunt tencha, played in a cameo by poet / activist tammy gomez), maricela uses the shoes to help her best friend win the boy of her dreams via karaoke (!), a blind lemonade vendor to see the colors he'd previously only imagined, her martial artist-wannabe cousin fight off local bullies, and her ancient-but-beloved pet dog michael jackson to be young and dance again. but when blind lalo and michael jackson ultimately reject her gift, maricela realizes that perhaps some things were just meant to be as they are. playwright bosquez deserves props for taking universally familiar situations and making them evocative in surprising ways (both comic and otherwise) and as he was sitting right behind me, i hope he was happy seeing me wipe my eyes during maricela's dance w/her pet. gtrist nick serna provided sparse but moody instrumental accompaniment. breanna herrera's performance as maricela merits special mention -- she seems uncommonly at ease on the stage (which is to say, in her own skin) for a performer so young. hopefully we'll see her again soon.
teatro de la rosa teaches theater arts to kids aged 8 through 18. if you know someone who might be interested, contact the troupe at 817-625-8333.