Photo Flash: San Diego Rep's MANIFEST DESTINITIS
San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) presents the world premiere of "Manifest Destinitis," an Early California adaptation of Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" from Culture Clash founding member and REP Playwright in Residence Herbert Siguenza. The brand new comedy, directed by REP Co-Founder and Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse opens San Diego REP's 41st season. the show's run begins on Thursday, September 15, 2016 and plays through Sunday, October 9, 2016 with an opening night on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Lyceum Space Theatre at San Diego REP in Horton Plaza.
"I want to show California when it was still Mexico and the Yankee was thought of as the immigrant. A total reversal of today's xenophobia about foreigners," says playwright and performer Siguenza. "'Make America Mexico Again' is a slogan the early Californios could have been saying in the 1800s. I use comedy and history to show how we are all interconnected and there's no 'us' and 'them.' History repeats itself with different protagonists."
"San Diego audiences have for decades enjoyed the satire, comedy, politics and audacity of the work of Herbert Siguenza," says Woodhouse. "We are thrilled to be able to premiere his latest satirical comedy in the heat of the American political campaign season."
This world premiere centers around Don Aragon, a very sick Californio. His head aches, his bowels are troubling him and he has a fear of losing everything to foreigners. He has Manifest Destinitis. Between the end of the Mexican-American War and the start of the Gold Rush craze, this madness is infecting all of Alta California.
When the Don's medical bills start to pile up, he arranges to marry his daughter Angelica off to a young doctor. Of course, she has her sights set on someone else-a guapo Americano! Thank goodness for Tonia, played by Herbert Siguenza, Don Aragon's loud mouth native India servant, who hears all, sees all and fixes all with much cunning and clowning.
Just in time for the fall presidential campaign debates, this hilarious mixture of contemporary political satire, romantic triangles, double entendres and mistaken identities promises to leave you in stitches.
Mark Pinter stars alongside Siguenza in this new comedy as "Don Aragon," the hypochondriac Californio. Pinter is most recognizable from his long running appearances on the television soap operas "All My Children" and "Another World." He last appeared at The REP in the world premiere of Siguenza's "Steal Heaven." Herbert Siguenza dons a wig in his world premiere to play the fast-talking native India servant "Tonia." REP audiences last saw Siguenza on stage in his world premiere piece, "Steal Heaven," which he also co-directed with REP Associate Artistic Director Todd Salovey. Previously, Siguenza wrote and starred in The REP's "A Weekend with Pablo Picasso" and "El Henry," a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse.The cast also features Jennifer Paredes ("Rapture, Blister, Burn" at San Diego REP, "Lydia" at Ion) as "Angelica/Luisa," Roxane Carrasco("Chicago" on Broadway, "West Side Story" National Tour) as "Belen de Aragon," Richard Trujillo ("Water & Power" at San Diego REP, "Macbeth" at Arizona Theatre Company) as "Doctor Burgos/Friar Beto Aragon," Jacob Caltrider ("Violet" at San Diego REP, "Rocky Horror" at Cygnet) as "Charlie Sutter," John Padilla ("El Henry," "Zoot Suit" at San Diego REP) as "Don Pedro Diaz/RoBert Mayo," Salomon Maya ("El Henry" at San Diego REP, "Coyote on a Fence" at OnStage Playhouse) as "Tomas Diaz/Performer," and Scotty Atienza ("The Nerd," "Les Miserables" at Lamb's Players Theatre) as "Pueblo Boy."
The creative team also includes Sean Fanning (Scenic Designer), Jennifer Brawn Gittings (Costume Designer), Lonnie Alcaraz (Lighting Designer), Bruno Loucharn (Sound Designer/Composer), Will Detlefsen (Assistant Director), Shirley Fishman (Production Dramaturg), Patrice Amon (Research Dramaturg) and Jacole Kitchen (Casting Director).
Sam Woodhouse (Director) co-founded San Diego REP with D.W. Jacobs in 1976, and has since worked as a director, producer or actor on more than 280 productions. As an actor, he has performed on The REP stages in "The Seafarer," in the title role of "King Lear," "Proof," "Hamlet," and with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in the title role of Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat." His recent directorial work with The REP includes: "Rapture, Blister, Burn," "The Oldest Boy," "Violet," "Oedipus El Rey," "Honky," "El Henry" (with La Jolla Playhouse), "Detroit," "Venus in Fur," "In the Heights," "Federal Jazz Project," "Clybourne Park," "The Who's TOMMY," "In the Next Room or the vibrator play," "Threepenny Opera" and "Water & Power." In 2011, he directed "American Night: The Ballad of Juan José" for the Denver Center Theatre Company. In 2003, he was awarded the Patté Shiley Award for Lifetime Achievement by KPBS and the prestigious Alonzo Award by the Downtown San Diego Partnership. In 2006, he and Jacobs were honored with the Craig Noel Award by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle for 30 years of artistic dedication to downtown and diversity.
Photo credit: Daren Scott
Herbet Siguenza and Jennifer Paredes