The sights, music and social upheaval of 1968 Los Angeles may be the stuff of history books and movies – but Merced residents looking to take an up-close and personal step back to those pivotal times will have an opportunity next month.
“Evangeline, The Queen of Make Believe” is scheduled to visit the Merced College theater on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. – the Central Valley premiere of the multimedia theatrical production. The production’s particularly noteworthy because it includes performances by co-creator Louie Perez and David Hidalgo of the Grammy-winning rock band Los Lobos.
In addition, the Merced College Foundation will host a wine-and-cheese reception featuring live music by Perez and Hidalgo 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Merced College art gallery.
“Evangeline” is the story of a young Chicana woman whose neighborhood roots and make-believe world collide when she experiences Los Angeles’ 1968 art scene and the music of the Sunset Strip. The production is set against the student walkouts of East Los Angeles and the fight for equal education and civil rights for the Latin-American community, and follows Evangeline as she tries to balance her role as the daughter of a traditional family and as a swinging ’60s Hollywood go-go dancer, according to a Merced College press release.
Presented by Los Angeles-based theatrical company About Productions in association with Arte Américas, “Evangeline” was co-created by Perez, Theresa Chavez, and Rose Portillo of About Productions.
“Evangeline” is co-directed by Chavez and Portillo.
The touring version of “Evangeline” also features Perez as a storyteller integrated into the ensemble of actors and musicians along with original video designed by award-winning cinematographer Claudio Rocha. Songs written by Hidalgo and Pérez are taken from their 40-year catalog, marking the first time the songbook is part of an original production. One new Hidalgo/Perez original song will premiere with this Merced College production, according to the release.
Celebrating its 25th year, About Productions is an acclaimed Los Angeles-based company that creates original interdisciplinary theater work and educational programs that provoke new perspectives on history and humanity.
Advance tickets for “Evangeline” are $10 for students, $15 for seniors and $20 for general admission. To reserve tickets, call the Merced College Theatre Box Office at (209) 384-6284. Tickets also are available at Gottschalks Music, 355 W. Main Street in Merced, and at the Merced College Bookstore and theater box office. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $25.
Tickets for the Oct. 9 reception are $50. Tickets for the reception include admission to the Oct. 10 performance. For tickets to the reception, contact Robin Shepard at (209) 381-6470 or email@example.com. Tickets for the reception also can be obtained by contacting John Albano at (209) 386-6777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.