Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Vania Mendez Navigates 1970's Drugs and Sex in CITY GIRLS AND DESPERADOES


Vania Mendez Navigates 1970's Drugs and Sex in CITY GIRLS AND DESPERADOES

Brazilian actress Vania Mendez navigates drugs and sex in 1970's New York as 'Lilli' in Pamela Enz's dramedy CITY GIRLS AND DESPERADOES, directed by Marina McClure and running at Theater for the New City from March 22 - April 8, 2018.

Set in the late 1970's New York, a rag tag band of accidental outlaws at war with their pasts explodes with high rolling, high risk relationships and the altered state that love in its most extreme form engenders, an intoxication that is as mind altering as any pharmaceutical. They are seemingly aimlessly lost in the world of drugs and dealing, more to stay connected to each other than any true economic hardship. One such case is Lilli (Mendez), a fun and free-spirited dreamer from Colombia, who finds herself addicted to drugs and in love with her dealer, Rita.

The ensemble cast also includes Austin Pendleton, George Olesky, Julie Atlas Muz, Meg MacCary and Maria Fontanals. This multi-faceted production brings it all together with video projections and a creative musical score by legendary Steely Dan guitarist Elliott Randall.

Mendez is thrilled at the opportunity to be part of this unique production, adding "I'm really just learning so much watching such a talented cast working together and bringing life to such a wonderful script. It's really incredible and rare to be involved part of such an amazing story."

Born and raised in Sao Paulo, this Brazilian beauty was attracted to acting from an early age. She began studying the craft at 12 years old and quickly landed roles in Brazilian TV and Theater. Mendez put her performance career on hold to attend Law School, but after graduating realized she loved the stage more than a courtroom and moved to New York to pursue her acting dream. Since landing in the Big Apple, Mendez has studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Stella Adler Studios, and more recently honed her improv skills at the Upright Citizen's Brigade (UCB). Referred to as 'feisty and fierce', Mendez has appeared in numerous productions around town, including the off-off-Broadway play Tiny Parts and Transitions, where she sang the sultry bossa nova classic "The Girl from Ipanema." On-camera, Mendez has appeared in commercials and indie film roles showcasing her diverse talents.

Mendez is also proud of her work with Camp Samba, which offers support to young burn survivors as they face the challenges of recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Last year, she helped bring 30 children together for a getaway in her hometown, Sao Paulo, creating a safe environment and sense of community for these innocent burn victims.

Currently, Mendez is writing a new comedy web series, Married a Gringo, and preparing to shoot the upcoming film Black Moonlight.

For more about VANIA MENDEZ visit:

Presented by: Bad Rep
Runs: March 22 - April 8, 2018
Location: Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue, NY 10003)

Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You