Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES

Gloria Calderón Kellett’s One of the Good Ones is nearing the end of its world premiere run @ the Pasadena Playhouse, closing April 7th

By: Apr. 04, 2024
Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES
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Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES

Gloria Calderón Kellett’s One of the Good Ones is nearing the end of its world premiere run at The Pasadena Playhouse, closing April 7, 2024. Kimberly Senior directs the cast led by Lana Parrilla and Carlos Gomez and featuring Isabella Gomez, Nico Greetham and Santino Jimenez. Finally got to pin down Carlos to answer a few of my queries.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Carlos!

What cosmic forces brought you together with this production of One of the Good Ones?

I have been friends with Gloria Calderón Kellett for some time and wanted to work with her. But because of our schedules, it never happened. I think she has a great gift of mixing comedy with societal questions and has done a beautiful job with One Of The Good Ones. And then she told me that Lana Parilla was attached, and I made my decision. I’m familiar with Lana’s work and was very excited to work with her. 

What would your three-line pitch of One of the Good Ones be?

Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES I think it’s a story about a family and all of us questioning our identity, our traditions and finding a way to at least, start conversations about it. Even though they might be unpleasant. I feel like that’s the crux of the play in general. And a few laughs to boot!!!

What element of Gloria Calderón Kellett’s script have you already experienced? Being the perfect son? Being introduced to your date’s parents? Having someone new brought into your home?

Well, the fact that Gloria is Cuban and so am I, pretty much all of it is pertinent to my upbringing and adult experiences when it comes to me as a person. My parents immigrated here from Cuba in the 60’s. We settled in Miami and pretty much all my life, there was a sense Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES that once this revolution in Cuba was over, we’ll get back to our homeland. It never happened. So I grew up with a sense of displacement on who I really was. Am I Cuban or Cuban American? Knowing who I really was was always a question I had.  And our play is pretty much about that.

Who of the cast or creatives have you worked with before?

Not really anybody.  I have mutual friends who had told me about working with Gloria and how driven and talented she was. I kind of wanted to be a part of GLo Nation family!!! I was lucky enough to snag this role.

If you were to submit Enrique for a dating website. What qualities of his would you list?

Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES I think Ilana would confiscate all my electronics if she knew I was on a dating site.  But I believe my character to be a successful business man, family man with traditional values. Has been able to provide for his family. Loves sports and enjoys a cigar or two at times!!!!

What character flaws would you definitely omit?

I think Enrique is sometimes set in his ways about how he sees the world.  He has issues with having an explanation about everything. I think with Yoli (my daughter in the play) all this talk about conversations about absolutely everything drives him bananas.  As a son of immigrant parents, I grew up not to question or complain about much but just keep working on yourself and be grateful that we have the freedoms of speech that we have in this country. That was not the case where my parents were fleeing from before I was born. So that was kind of my mantra growing up.

This Pasadena Playhouse production is not your first time on the Los Angeles boards. You were in the world premiere of Lisa Loomer's Living Out at the Mark Taper in 2003. Would you share some good memories of that run?

Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES Yes, I was lucky enough when I first came to L.A. to work with Lisa Loomer’s Living Out. That was a great production and introduced me to the L.A. theater scene. Worked with great actors, Amy Aquino and Zelah Mendoza. He was a much more humbled character. I think the dichotomies between the rich and the poor and the fact that we were immigrants was appealing to me when I read the play.  The idea that twenty years have passed since that play was put up, and the issues are pretty much the same. Sad.

You originated the role of Kevin Rosano in the Broadway production of In the Heights. What do you remember of your first audition for it? Or did you audition at all?

Interview: Carlos Gomez Is Definitely ONE OF THE GOOD ONES In The Heights was the gift that kept on giving. Whenever things got slow for me with TV and film work in L.A., I would always go back to do theater in New York City; no matter how small or where. I was in the city one summer and there was this Off-Broadway musical playing called In The Heights. Didn’t know much about it, so out of curiosity I went to see it. Little did I know that going to see that show would change my life. After the opening number, I called my agent immediately at intermission and told him to keep track of this show. I wanted to be a part of it at some point in my career. I had never seen ‘Latinos’ represented with so much talent and charisma on a stage singing and dancing since West Side Story. A few months later, my agent called me and said they were having auditions for the show, and it was going to Broadway. I bought my ticket immediately. I auditioned and a few months later, I was rehearsing ITH and made my Broadway debut as Kevin Rosario. My talent bar was raised so high after working with Lin Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire, Thomas Kale and Andy Blankenbuelhler; or the dream team as I call them. Working with this group of artists changed my work forever.  Lucky to have been in the room where it happened.

Is there a theatrical role you would love to sink your acting chops into?

At this point in my career, I really just want to work on projects that is going to uplift us as a community. And working with collaborators I’ve enjoyed working with in the past. I would like to do empowering projects that puts us in a different light than Hollywood has been so used to seeing us in. One Of The Good Ones is a perfect example how you can do a show, with Latinos who are upper class, funny, loving and leave the theater with a positive outlook on who we are. It’s about time.

What’s in the near future for Carlos Gomez besides One of the Good Ones?

I’m in the middle of writing a book about my experiences growing up as sons of immigrant parents and how with determination, hard work and drive, you can achieve a career in the arts.  I did it, why can’t you?

Thank you again, Carlos! It was a pleasure meeting your Enrique.  

For tickets to one of the last performances of One of the Good Ones through April 7, 2024; click on the button below:


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