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"El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom: A Superhero Play" To Have World Premiere At Two River Theater

originally published: 12/11/2017

"El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom: A Superhero Play" To Have World Premiere At Two River Theater

(RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater will present the World Premiere of El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom: A Superhero Play by Matt Barbot from January 6 through February 4.  The production, directed by José Zayas.  Employing deft use of the superhero/comic book genre, the play explores questions of individual and national identity—including what it means to be “Latino” or “not Latino enough”—in contemporary America.

El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom: A Superhero Play tells the story of Alex, an unemployed young comic book artist still wrestling with the death of his father, a policeman, in the line of duty. Adrift in his career and his life, he decides to see what it’s like to be a superhero, and begins to dress up as his creation El Coquí Espectacular (a Puerto Rican superhero who gets his power from a vejigante carnival mask and his name from a tree frog) and fight crime in his neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Meanwhile, his responsible older brother Joe is encouraging Alex to join him at his advertising agency, where Joe works selling sugary soda to Latino consumers. When Joe is fired from a project, the two, with the help of a young photographer named Yesica, hatch a plan: to debut El Coquí at the Puerto Rican Day Parade and prove themselves to the world.

El Coquí Espectácular and the Bottle of Doom was a finalist in the 2014 Repertorio Español Nuestras Voces competition, and won the Kennedy Center’s Darrel Ayers Award for Outstanding Student-Written Play for Young Audiences, as well as the Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award for Outstanding Play Written by a Student of Latino/Hispanic Heritage. It was also a finalist in Repertorio Español's 2013 Nuestras Voces competition.

The cast of El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom includes Gabriel Diego Hernández (El Chupacabra/Junior), Olivia Negrón (Patricia), Flor De Liz Perez (Yesica), Cesar J. Rosado (Joe), and Bradley Tejeda (Alex). 

The creative team includes scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Ásta Bennie Hostetter, lighting designer Zach Blane, sound designer Jane Shaw, and projections/animation designer Alex Koch. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Jack Doulin + Sharky, and the stage manager is Terri K. Kohler.  



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“Matt Barbot is a playwright with a unique and exciting voice,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “Super-smart, super-cheeky and super-honest, his El Coquí examines what it means to be Latino in America in a deeply personal and very funny way. What is a wannabe hero to do when he’s considered a ‘sorta-Rican:’ raised in America by immigrant parents, feeling disconnected from the Latino community (and barely speaking Spanish), but still seen as Latino by the majority of the country. It’s a play for all of us who long to connect to our roots, embrace our culture and let our inner superheroes soar.”

El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom was introduced to Red Bank audiences when it was read as part of the theater’s 2016 Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) festival of new Latino plays.

Performances take place in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, in Red Bank, New Jersey.





4th Wall To Open Season With "Sondheim On Sondheim"
(BLOOMFIELD, NJ) -- 4TH WALL THEATRE opens its 22nd season with a limited run production that celebrates the work of Broadway luminary Stephen Sondheim with Sondheim on Sondheim.  The show will be presented November 30, December 1 and December 2 at the Burgdoff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ.  The show is directed by 4th Wall Artistic Director Kate Swan and Gonzalo Valencia serves as the Musical Director.
8th Annual Tri-State Theatre Festival
(SPRING LAKE, NJ) -- The 8th Annual Tri-State Theatre Festival takes place October 19-21 at Wesley Hall in Spring Lake. The festival showcases the best new short plays written by local writers from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The festival typically receives about 300 entries annually and features a unique collection of short comedies and dramas designed to entertain and engage audiences. And, after every performance, attendees have the option to stick around and “meet the artists” – a live Q&A with playwrights, actors and directors.
JCTC Presents Unbossed & Unbowed, a new play about the life & times of Shirley Chisholm
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- In 2015, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Shirley Chisholm the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ingrid Griffith brings to life this remarkable woman to life in a reading of her new play Unbossed & Unbowed to White Eagle Hall  in Jersey City on Thursday, October 25th at 8:00pm.  Tickets are $5 (suggested donation).
Luna Stage Launches “Short & Show” with Midnights on Screen Then Pirira on Stage
(WEST ORANGE, NJ) -- Luna Stage’s newest program, Short & Show, joins the screening of a short film with a MainStage Luna production. In a distinctive Luna move, the theater company is offering a double bill of two works of art in two different disciplines: the showing of a thrilling new short film, Midnights, directed by NJ-based Alvaro Donado, and Pirira on the MainStage. Midnights was filmed on location in nearby Paterson, and this screening will be its West Orange premiere. Both works of art deal with decent people in dangerous situations who, against the odds, attempt to do the right thing. Luna’s Short & Show will be Friday, October 19 (Midnights at 7:15pm, Pirira at 8:00pm) and Sunday, October 21 (Midnights at 2:15pm, Pirira at 3:00pm).
Women's Theater Company Presents "Love/Sick"
(PARSIPPANY, NJ) -- The Women’s Theater Company, a professional theater company in Parsippany, NJ, presents Love/Sick written by John Cariani from October 26-November 4. Sometimes love is messy in this romantic comedy where a unique cast of characters battle for love with heart warming optimism.


Playwright Walter Anderson Talks About "The Trial Of Donna Caine"
​​​​​​​The political climate in the United States—with its right and left, red and blue, conservative and liberal—prompts this question: Is reconciliation possible?
Assisted Living: The Musical LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
The crowd is making it’s way inside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts on this beautiful Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 afternoon for the first of two sold-out performances of Assisted Living: The Musical!
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Long before we had Twilight and True Blood, one vampire ruled them all - Dracula.  Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel brought Count Dracula from Transylvania to Victorian London.  In this blood thirsty tale of terror, the city seems helpless against his power, and only one man, Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage.  But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake.  
House On Haunted Hill
House On Haunted Hill is a classic B-movie by William Castle that came out in 1959.  It starred Vincent Price as a millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people who agree to spend the night locked in a house he’s rented on Haunted Hill.
Two River Theater Presents The World Premiere of "Pamela's First Musical"
If anyone ever doubts that New Jersey is home to great theatre, just point them to the world premiere of “Pamela’s First Musical” at Two River Theater. The cast and creative behind this show by Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang includes a combined total of more than 25 Tony Award nominations and seven wins. It’s a cast that would look impressive at any theatre – Broadway  or otherwise. According to one of the stars, the opportunity to work with the 10-time Tony Award nominee director/choreographer Graciela Daniele and to be part of a new musical was too good to pass up.






Event calendar
Thursday, Oct 18, 2018


MUSIC


ROCKTOPIA: A CLASSICAL REVOLUTION featuring special guest Dee Snider of Twisted Sister @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:30pm

Rio Mira @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 7:30pm

Collective Soul @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm


THEATRE

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

World Premier of, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, A Horror of a Play @ Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Metuchen - 7:30pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:30pm

Almost, Maine @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 7:30pm

Black Tom Island @ The 1882 Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Union - 10:30am

*Uncle Vanya, Scenes from a Jersey Life in Four Acts @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 8:00pm







KIDS

Crybaby Matinee: The Land Before Time @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am


POETRY

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 9:00am

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