Baldwin’s “I am Not Your Negro” sets the sets the stage for serious contemplation and discussions towards change.

Very few times have I taken in a documentary in a movie theatre, usually the norm has been as a documentary film festival or other event.  When the trailer caught my eye for James Baldwin’s  I Am Not Your Negro, I was intrigued immediately. In to way is this film less than cutting deep and sharply into the history of the struggle, fight, and biased notion of equality for American relations on race.  Taken from Baldwin’s project, Remember This House, this insight into the history of denying rights to such a contributing part of the American historical story, so much discussion, examination, and introspection can be made every step of the way in this film.

I personally feel this is a film that everyone should view, if not for anything else, but for the fact that issues are important to be discussed and not admired or thought if in a picture book.   With so much at stake in the middle of a shakeup in politics, social issues, violence, and so much more, as much conversation is needed now as existed during an election like no one has ever seen before.  I like the fact that Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X are initiators of this topic and then tied to the historical legacy of civil rights and the lack of through the years.

What a powerful set of contexts presented by James Baldwin, and so relevant to Baldwin’s life as well as to each of our own, and raising a powerful set of questions posed continually.  I think the only way to advance in society as a whole, both in the United States and abroad, is to continually set up opportunities for reflection on how to improve, continually, and not periodically.  As a result, there can always be a forum for change and the possibility of a better future if those opportunities are opened, whether you agree with the message or not, we all need those opportunities to grow as a country, despite the country we reside in.  The ability to apply these same issues in other countries as well, remains a powerful, powerful resource.

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A Finale, but is it EVER a finale?

The Rush of It All

Aside from life in general, the realization of this being the last show even is hard to process as well!

Yes, you might have noticed, not a review for the last show yet.  I have to tell you, sometimes, you just need to step back, and let what has unfolded soak into your psyche, and let it roll around in your mind, your heart, before jumping to the quick and responding.  This is exactly what has happened  since the last show on Saturday of “Y Me…” – and this is what is even more surreal…

Being in school after “Y Me…” well I mean come one, a production about high school, seeing that cast in school, and trying to separate the production from the dilemmas that occur in high schools – the casts were THAT GOOD that the separation by far is difficult!

MANY realizations came out of seeing the very last show of Y Me…Saturday, and a few of them will appear here.  Keep checking back to this post, because it is going to take me a period of days to truly capture how magical this show was, and how it reflected also on how great BOTH casts were, not one superior to the other, but both casts pushing each other to be better among themselves, that is truly a smashing success!  Onto the cast of this last show and remember, this will be updated continually so keep checking back until you see, “The END” written at the bottom of the post!  LOL

Adrian   – You could easily, EASILY see the energy, as a last show and as the talent Adrian brought to this character simply pour out of him on stage.  Grabbing the mic this time also, I thought of M.C. Hammer, (sorry).  I loved Tamara grabbing the Harley helmet, emphasizing what a stud a Chemistry teacher can be, and what a hero he could be as well to student sin general. Ethically, Adrian was able to push the power educators can have in helping students, not hindering them, as well as helping them use high school as a stepping stone to becoming more insightful individuals.  That is a heavy hype to carry in a character and yet he did, in times of laughter, foolery (lights out on the end of the world), and moments of dire seriousness.  In that vein as well, he helped show the contrast that an A cast member can have in the some role, and have the audience respect both perspectives of that same role, that is some heavy thoughts to ponder over as well. Yu have nothing but regret in seeing this being the last show, and the last moment you will see Mr Beckerman rock the house, and rock the hearts of the students around him.  Bravo to a role cast to the T in the last show, and letting us appreciate both roles by both actors, I truly hope to see Adrian on the stage somewhere after this and being able to say, “Heck yeah, I know him!” (and I know he loves Guns N Roses too, lol)

Ana CristinaAgain, it is a pleasure and a calm reassurance to see Ana onstage.  She brings this quiet resolve to this character, and seems to sprint even more so after individuals in this being the last show.  Maybe it is me, but I think you know the worth of a actress when you are sad to realize this is the last time, in a production, before she hits the stage for the evening.

Tamara K – The little things count, and enough little things and you see a whole character develop.  All along the way, from being the helmet wearer and initial helmet grabber (lol) to developing a steady level of dealing with nervous comments at Homecoming, to being the all around representative of the student body – it is not difficult, even through the past few years, to see talents Tamara brings to the stage.  I thought she was constantly quiet and yet….sometimes….I am excited to see with Tamara the possibilities the stages offers in the next couple of years, with and am thankful for being able to see her progression in a variety of ways along the way.  

Ana Paula – You have to realize her quiet demeanor in the halls sets the tone of surprise when you do hear Ana on stage.  The emotion, heart, and will she puts into her role helps to show she owns the space on stage around her for those moments.  As Jacqueline, Ana gives it her all, and then some, not a surprise if you saw her in all previous productions she has been in.  Definitely a surprise if you did not realize how powerful of talents she has by just a glance in the halls (not of Jefferson High).

Analise AWhen you see Analise in the first show, it sets the bar for her involvement in the production overall.  Then, she does a fake out on you when you see her in the teacher’s lounge.  This sounds strange, but I think this is actually pretty creative, as the more she is appearing in the teacher’s lounge as a supporting teacher, the more you are shocked and surprised at her “Mommie Dearest” role in the alternate show, but you have to see more than one cast to realize this.  This in a nutshell, I feel is the true art, being able to take in the whole spectrum of the strength of all the cast, because it truly does take more than one show.  Analise certainly makes the best of this opportunity in all roles she is in.

Arantza M – Arantza is the repeat performer, in every show, that keeps coming back and reinforcing the cast in many many scenes, and it is not easy to see this in one viewing of one show.  From scenes of choreographed dancing, to being surprised at the earth ending announcement, to supporting the Homecoming Queen candidate, she is truly everywhere, anywhere, and always supporting, supporting, supporting.  She easily reinforces the fact that there are 100 different stories happening in the halls of a typical high school, and she easily and successfully is able to represent a few of them!

Marion R. – At first, I was instantly trying to compare Marion’s role as Maria to the opposing cast role, something that is pretty typical.  While I was doing this, I did notice how Marion played Maria as kind of rough around the edges, a little bossy, yet under that tough exterior, there was plenty of conversation waiting to be had.  It worked.  Marion made it work as well.  From the very beginning, Marion made it clear she owned a particular personality that was Maria, and she never wavered from that idea.  This is what makes “Y Me… such a powerful experience across a wide range of very talented actors and actresses.

Emiliano M. – Seriously, hands down, a flash back that took me to John Belushi’s Saturday night’s Samurai Chef making hamburgers, only without the theatrics, and just the low, guttural voice.  It is amazing how one little characteristic, one little tweak, can make a whole difference, and yet it did.  I think that characteristic is so important to notice, because Emiliano seems to always be in tune with the littlest aspects that truly make a difference, and he finds himself there at the heart of these moments to move his characters forward.  Through the course of the play, being able to play a vocal teacher, a parent, and a police officer, not one was without character or quirks.  In every role, Emiliano was able to capitalize, and did, on those aspects that made them unique.  Hence, you have a successful run by Emilano, in each show of “Y Me…”.

Pablo Gu If any thing, the last show was a culmination of how roles, whether they are center stage or just to the side, and how all roles can in fact make a difference throughout a production.  The social commentary on expectations of parents when it comes to college, the future, and more, rang loud and clear with Pablo’s hard-line stance on Harvard being the choice of success for his daughter.  This last crowd, moreso than the crowd at the earlier show, was way more vocal when these moments were presented.  Pablo does an amazing job of his fatherly duties and how they intertwine with the other characters.  This also brings out the qualities in the opposite character Emiliano also plays, so the method of an A and B cast has many many advantages and learning curves!

Pablo Go – It is not just the nervous moments between conversations, scene stoppers of emotional tension, or the amazing vocals, it is the fact that real high school drama enters the stage, and is never quite able to separate from when you leave this production. Percy by Pablo, and Pedro is a main part of this feeling.  Tonight, it almost seemed as Pablo brought this home for everyone to realize, EVERYONE.  Many of the characters in this last show not only seemed to shine brightly as a talented individual, but wanted to show the talent they were able to achieve together – and the cast altogether – they outshined any expectations you could hope to expect.  Percy is so so awesome thanks to the genuine responses, awkwardness, and many more qualities that he brings to this stage and role – over and over and over and you can feel nothing less than something similar to when you were in high school when Percy hits the stage!

Giulia – If you knew Giulia from the other shows, then you know what you were waiting for – 🙂  The consistent humor, intensity, and radical characteristics Giulia brings to the stage, to this production and to the “end of the world” open the door for how she will be most welcome in future roles, and we are all excited to see more!

Patricio V. – Seriously, anyone that can smash a bottle that hard and cause the audience to feel the pressure and flinch, they are good.  You would expect Patricio to be a seasoned actor and yet this is the first time I have ever seen him on stage, let alone in such a dramatic role.  The tension builds in each show he stars in, and he continues to play this role to its highest point.  It works, he works, and overall the attention Patricio brings to this role helps direct our attention to the role that Analise plays, and overall the strength Patricio brings to this role, as well as strength Analise brings, also opens another social story that can’t help be dealt with, thanks to this last show of Patricio.

Lucia – Emotional.  Capable. Deep reaching.  Extensive implications.  Practical reactions.  All of these and even more, Lucia on the last night set the path to let everyone remember the risks, the issues, and the confidence students in any high school have day in and day out in the face of adversity.  Look at the adversity that this production had from day one, an original piece, a musical score all actresses and actors would have to make their own, and pull off this individuality to all that came to see it and witness this one of a kind adventure.  It is exciting to see many of the participants of “Y Me…” carry out a challenge that has never been attempted before, and many of the participants in “Y Me…” from previous ventures as well such as Open Mic, and seeing a carry over of talent in so many different ways in so many different venues.  Ingrid and Lucia both were able to do this, and as always seeing both on stage and center, Lucia on this night was able to make statements of such a volume that no one will leave the FAC with any doubts anything is impossible for the ASF Theatre Company. Again, the strength of Lucia on this night reinforces the strength Ingrid brings to the stage on the previous show, and vice versa.  If that does not speak of the strength of this cast, I do not know what will.

Isabella B – Again and again and again, confidence is carrying messages that might be controversial, shocking, and to some disturbing are relayed by confident, capable, and strong characters such as Isabella in “Y Me…”.   She is able to show day in and day out, in every show, that messages are part of a successful production, something you carry with you beyond the stage.  Of course there is an A and B cast, which alternates, but then there is the fact that, also take in the characters that perform every single day.  That is a different set of expectations, and can the cast bring the same devotion and strength day in and day out when not having a day off?  Isabella is one of many, along with many participants, that acts and sends messages with a strength that comes in day in and day out, with a alternative type of strength that is easy to take for granted seeing one show.

Mariana R – There are also so many things you find yourself wanting to know about particular actors and actresses once you see something they do, or could have maybe thought of on stage, that could be a whole blog post and I have carried this post out for a pretty long time, no?  However, knowing Mariana outside of the production, I always thought of her as determined, quiet, serious.  I see still her in that light but not so much and again, day in and day out, being in every production you are able to see variations of this each day, yet of course a much more loosened up Mariana when dancing comes into play, all she takes into stride and makes come real on stage.  What I want to see after Mariana’s performance are more appearances on stage where she knocks off her usual serious demeanor as a student and showing she is capable of multiple personalities, but in a positive way!  Mariana does an amazing job showing the difficult commitments of back to back shows and still bringing life to her student character as a student and yet, it is never as simple as that, being a student to play a student.  There is alot more involved in between that she is able to show and bring to the audience.

Marianne – Speaking of every night, night after night, and running the risk of being mundane and not being able to tell a new story.  Marianne does not fall into that category.  Despite being a set personality style, Marianne is able to, within her own character, develop new elements of her character, a character at first seems to be not able to be capable of changes and developments.  There is the education that Marianne teaches the audience if you are able to see the multiple shows.  Too often students are stereotyped into a personality type, and then just as an iconic movie role, never “allowed” to move outside that description.  In a subtle way, Marianne is able to redefine how all students and “clique” personalities do in fact have a personality changing curve, they do not resonate the same personality traits day in and day out, and do have more than meets the eye to the beholder.  Be it a different type of dance, a different type of reaction to someone that comes into their individual space, and yet, the lesson is there.  Individuals are individuals and have a wide range of emotions, feelings, and reactions, it is up to each of us to care and pay attention to that fact.  Marianne is able to pull off a great great character day in and day out with finesse and a class that only adds to this production of “Y Me…”.

Diego M. – Taking the above theme of stereotyping a character into a personality or trait role, Diego is able to take his personality of Miles day in and day out for every production as well.  Audiences will realize stereotypes are difficult to leave an individual, from an age of adult to teenager, and knowing that, what can be done with that awareness?   Additionally, upon closer examination, the emphasized fact again exists, that characteristics that many might not be aware of are present in every individual, even when you think yo have it all figured out.  Seeing Miles, take risks in different types of how he interprets dancing, relating to teachers and the truest emotions he has inside, as well as the ability to have a wide range of talents, not just academically, but also involving communications!  Diego is truly able to bring the stability a character that Miles requires, but in spaces in between presents thew quirky changes that many tend to miss in people that surround us every day.

Natalia SAs a reaction to the quirks above that many individuals have and that are often overlooked, Natalia steers Ms Jarvis through the pitfalls of assuming she already has it all figured out, her class, her students, her colleagues, her love life potentials.  The remarks and the follow through Natalia provides never ceases to be genuine, cause a slight smirk to one of guffawing (I have waited a long time to use that), and the ability to sense the environment within the walls of a teacher lounge, parties, and the school day, can almost be based surrounding her character alone if no other cast member did exist, which is a powerful talent to hold within her character’s presence.  Since there is a supporting cast around her, it is not difficult to see Natalia allows Ms. Jarvis to be a team player while still hovering outside the edge of a consensus.  All of this takes alot as one of the cast members that comes to the stage, with this agenda, every single performance.

Pedro V. –  Pedro has also been one of my favorite cast members to watch through the years.  He continues to grow and cause the audience to continually enjoy his antics.  From the knee jerking dances he pulls off, the ability to slip into the personality of a subdued emo-like enthusiast, to the up and becoming brother a attention-centered student and even in past roles, a pattern has been evident, although a subtle one.  The fact that his ability to be in the right time for the perfect picture to represent his role, sides along with seriousness coming out in his musical numbers, but the ability to express his energy and human-comical side through his dialogue.  He plays all so so well, whether he is a lead role or a supporting role, he always provides something to remember and add to his repertoire, exciting!

Mikel I.  – He has the look, the sarcastic tone, the edge that is always on speculation and the enamored with the ladies around him, he questions all the practical meaning of why, as well as is not hesitating in what he desires, spinning music, hyping those around him, and putting his al in what catches his eye.  Mikel is able to capture the moments of high school that many initially forget about, but, then, later recall a moment and can’t and not wanting to remove it from memory again.  Mikel offers a second look at who Pete is as a person and an entertainer, and allows you to want to take that second look.  Well done.

Su KWhether in a parent conference, or the parent pushing and wanting, there is a open sea calmness that Su brings to an role I have ever seen her in.  You might mistake this being her just being shy and liking the backlit stage.  I see something as a reserve that is stronger than anyone would realize unless multiple appearances are allowed to reveal the inner strength she has as an actress.  It is there.  It was there every time you saw her on the stage- and only enhanced what “Y Me…” became, in the smallest or largest sense, depending on how you saw it and how many times.  Su is a senior and is a huge loss to the Drama scene for ASF but a HUGE positive for her future 🙂


The Orchestra – Day in and day out, that is a phrase that it many do not usually use in thoughts about a production unless you are part of the cast and a long run.  ASF and “Y Me…” gives everyone the opportunity to see and realize that there is more to a production that a one day viewing, though so much is obtained in just one viewing as well, it has taken me days after the production to appreciate all the details I was able to see over the course of all the production.

Alejandra A- Every single night it seemed Alejandra was right in the middle, almost like a funnel, of expression and emotion for that night’s performance.  It is surreal to watch the production and the music flow out at the same time and see it all connect as well, she seemed to be playing anew every single night.

Alejandro M.- It just escapes me to imagine how and why a French horn would play such a prominent role and yet it does.  You have to watch the scene changes and then when you see the contributions made from this instrument, a deeper sense of the production is revealed.  I remember Alejandro from ASOMEX Jazz earlier this year at Peterson’s hosting, and yes he was at the highest capacity for performance there as well.

Alex H. – Again, same as the French Horn, it is the same as trying to conceive why and then  paying attention to the contribution during the performance makes the difference.  I kept saying that there is a story to be told coming out of the orchestra, and it is interesting that this might be the oldest of the string instruments, but what kept running through my wind in retrospect is this was used from legends like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, as well as The Who, Van Morrison, and Velvet Underground, lol.  It is amazing to watch the calmness that Alex brought to the orchestra every night, the seriousness, and the light-hearted laughter the whole group felt as each night progressed and blended into the next one.

Andrew N. – Without sitting so close each night, (I sat kind of back the first night) – I felt I was losing part of the intensity and emotion of the overall production.  Sitting close to the orchestra, and taking in the trumpets specifically, adds the strength the actors and actresses already bring to this production, and Andrew is no exception to a huge strength of this production.

Bryn Criddle – Still learning who is faculty and not on a huge campus, it is amazing to look at the diversity of the orchestra, and how natural of talent flows between the mix of faculty and students, and even additional family member.  If there was a message that needed to be sent out, without any cast lines, it definitely came out in just watching the orchestra night after night.  Mr. Criddle definitely added to that!

Christopher Muller – Technology come front and center with the saxophone.  I have to admit, when I saw the size of the instrument Mr. Muller toted, and aside from the amazing volume added to the orchestra, that size alone made me realize how much of a commitment the orchestra played to the overall run of “Y Me…”.  If anything, when you see faculty playing such as active part in anything student-related, you know what will happen next will be amazing.  It was, and the commitments that faculty make outside of the schools hours, sided with the music that spills out during this production, showed to everyone how important this production was!

Claire R. – I think the coolest things was this sister and brother combination and how excited it was to see them be day after day being an active part of this orchestra.  When you see and hear the sound emitting during one of many scenes, and seeing how committed and dedicated a young Claire was to this production?  That message alone, that story stemming from the orchestra, carried some of the strongest lines I ever could imagine.

Dave Rueb – Having seen the coolness flowing from productions as part of “Somewhere South of Midwest” – I was excited to see Dave further add his smooth sounds of violin to when it counted most.  Reemphasizing the aspects of faculty playing an active role in showing the world what was such a big deal about anything student involved, Dave’s enthusiasm and ability with the violin come out effortlessly, and I was always trying to mark the moment when I heard HIS part through each track.  I would have missed some of the best parts of the production had I not seen these individual contributions.

Diego Zaragoza – Yes, administration can be active outside of the halls of their own school and Diego’s contribution of the flute is distinct in this production.  Sometimes introducing a number, but it is interesting to follow the flow of the production in tune with the orchestra.  I think a huge statement is made anytime faculty, staff, administration, go outside of their traditional job duties to show that other aspects of ASF also can fall under the role of ASF interests, and the orchestra has been a splendid example of this, as well as discovering what talents are all around our campus, not only among our students!

Jang Ho –Front and center, unless you seat within sight distance of the orchestra, you can’t help but see how effortlessly Jang Ho allows his talent with the piano comes out naturally.  Even in practice, before the stage is set, his fingers find alternations of music and form across the piano.  Also a powerful influence during the ASOMEX jazz festival, his often unknown talent with the piano IS brought front and center and adds to the totality of the production itself.

Jeong In – Humor and talent seem to follow Jeong everywhere.  From the ASOMEX Jazz Festival to the orchestra pit, Jeong’s ability with the trumpet, as well as his interest and ability to manipulate and master music is another asset to the orchestra pit.  I easily am able to picture the success of this orchestra personality day after day as they became a unit of their own, and a village of their own if you will.  The strength they bring to each piece of the original score is worth a seating choice near the stage, and although at time early in the shows you noticed volume of the orchestra would tend to overpower lines, the synthesis that occurred over the last few productions was part of the process of seeing how members as a whole develop from beginning to finish, humor included.  Great job Jeong.

Kyle Pape – “The ring leader” of all things jazz, eclectic performances, and “Somewhere South of Midwest”, Kyle Pape is also a welcome site in the orchestra yielding a trombone with force.  It is fitting that a major representative of all things musical leads the way for another original performance involving jazz and contemporary scores.  Again, volumes are sent to all that involvement of student events is everyone’s responsibility, and Kyle continues to represent that sentiment all year long in many other areas!

Luis Betancourt – Once this year I was lucky enough to see Luis as part of the Open Mic performance in the FAC, and that still resonated with me seeing Luis rocking the guitar in the orchestra.  His positive motivation in his classes, as well as alongside fellow musicians, seems to send forward the message that new and creative opportunities need to be continued to be opened, to blend the talents of all of an ASF community and even open the possibilities to those outside of ASF as well showing how diverse and American talented school an actually be.  I see Luis Betancourt as another advocate of this blending of new and creative projects where art and music is involved, and during the production of “Y Me…”, you can hear the tonal contributions in many instances.

Marc R – I think it is super cool that Marc and sister, side by side, were literally so “in tune” with this production.  In seeing Marc help lead the 2016-2017 MUN at ASF, again the diverse talents shown in and out of ASF become more real, especially during his sounds during “Y Me…”  I like the idea of such a diverse group thrown together for this production, and working together so well.  It is quite extraordinary to see the production being rehearsed and then adding the music and literally the transformation before your eyes that reached your ears and eyes was well, extraordinary.  Being able to actually see the individual sounds that Marc contributed on top of that?, priceless.

Marisol H – It is pretty awesome to see students that juggle a variety of interests, and do it well.  From being an awarded swimmer, to talented Layout member of Repentino., as well as talented clarinet member, the variety you know about is just as awesome as those that you might not know about.  Marisol is has demonstrated her willingness to take on new adventures as evident in Open Mic, and it just means something when you can actually hear her contribution in “Y Me…” as if it validates her multi-diversity talents, lol.  One can see she means business and is quite capable over the course of this production, and one can only appreciate the willingness, as well as the other orchestra members, of her time outside of the already demanding requirements of the typical school day ( are we talking on stage or in real life?!).

Olivia Maekawa – Again, you do sometimes realize who ASF faculty are but never often when and how you met them.  It was so genuine to see Olivia as well as a counter to Marisol in the same wind instrument section, almost seeing students as as an understudy with more practiced musicians, but in a out of class setting.  Again, it is ironic that when you can actually hear the moments when instruments come alive during a production, it seems there is even more validation of the contribution of that individual, but you realize their mere commitment to such a time demanding experience, such as to “Y Me…” started that validation, even before the first note was heard. One is able to contemplate such thoughts with the orchestra right in front of you as an audience member, and be thankful for these commitments from students and faculty alike.

Pedro R – There is no shortage of personality, energy, and motivation spared when you see Pedro on the drums.  It seems, his rhythm that pours out of the excitement of the drums, flows single handedly through every signal instrument member.  You see, hear, and yet feel it as well.  The smile he exhibits as you can sense that beat, we felt it at the ASOMEX Jazz festival, we saw and felt it every single night during “Y Me…” I wanted to see a small stuffed version of Animal beside him every night, but moreso, realized how much of a heartbeat he provided, that aligned with the beat of the orchestra as a whole and the cast? – it is exhilarating to watch.  You feel this just as the production ends in the Finale, the drums are impossible not to focus on throughout this whole piece, somewhat leading the way for all in the orchestra and their talented moment.

Regina R – While not familiar with everyone of the orchestra, it is not too difficult to look forward to seeing each member of the orchestra as you see their individual contributions throughout the production.  It became easy to queue on what would happen next in the production without ever seeing the stage, by following the orchestra, which happened occasionally in having a front row seat for the orchestra.  It seems like an extra bonus being able to see two simultaneous versions of “Y Me…” in each show, and Regina was able to be a part of this easily.

Rob McCabe – Certainly a “ringleader” in his own right, bringing a Fantasia-like experience together on many levels was a huge success and lauded.  Faced with adversity the first evening, and when it comes to ASF or Bust, McCabe remained true to his belief in all involved, as well as the production itself, and the energy, enthusiasm, and kid in Rob came out every single production.  Much can be said in how the energy surrounding this production flowed out, swirled around in the orchestra, onto the stage, behind the curtains, into the sound booth and back again, you could feel the circulation of this occurring.  It is exciting to see the enthusiasm of this while experience with every movement of Rob during the production.

Sofia Hidalgo – Certainly confident, I remember one significant moment.  The first evening, when Lucia was sound testing, you could see Sofia intent on Lucia/s sound test, and whole-heartedly involved in applauding that specific sound test.  It set the tone from the very first night of seeing all involved in the Y Me… adventure”, all were functioning as one unit, in various locations but all “in tune” (sorry) with each other from the very beginning.  That would be easy to see this through Sofia for every night of the performances as well.

Tomas M – Again, the pairing of individuals with similar instruments, and in this case the saxophone, alongside a faculty member always seemed that the orchestra was stacked with powerful and talented members from a variety of age and positional backgrounds.  I found myself always paying attention to when Tomas and Chris would “come alive” at a certain point in the production, and seeing how it enhanced the musical score at that moment. It is exciting to see the diversity that made up this orchestra and they the responded and “talked” to the cast from just below the edge of the stage itself.

William H – Aside from the energy and enthusiasm you felt from Pedro R., the energy and sense of fun in being there in the orchestra you felt from William was pretty contagious if you paid attention to the orchestra to itself.  Laughing, short quips about various aspects of the show, the various sounds that resulted from William’s side of the orchestra, made this one of the busiest parts of the orchestra as well, aside from the center.  Again, if you did not sit close enough to orchestra to take this activity in, you truly are missing part of the story as “Y Me…” develop throughout the total amount of shows given.  

Yoko M – If you are on campus during the day, then of course Yoko is synonymous with ceramics, but the French Horn?  Who knew?  Knowing and being awoken to the unknown talents of others, formerly unknown, is part of the discovery I was brought into with the production of “Y Me…”, and seeing it in the form of colleagues and alongside students – it is a powerful learning moment.  It was an honor to see so many talented colleagues such as Yoko sharing this talent to promote the many many talents of others.

Annabella M – If you are lucky, sometimes with individuals there is a defining moment.  During one of the production nights, the last note uttered from Annabella was the deep base note she is so good at.  Simply with hearing her as the last note in that particular music piece, gave you the “hearing memory and knowledge” of what contributions she was making to the orchestra and to the show, as well as blending in and adding to the orchestra as one unit as well.  From her contributions to the ASOMEX Jazz Festival this year to her smooth numbers produced in “Y Me…” Annabella continues to be a powerful bass addition to this production and many more events upcoming.

The Stage and Tech Crew Gurus that bring it all together

Individually, there is no doubt every single person mentioned here:

Alan L., Alani P., Alberto C., Alex De Winter, Andrea P., Andres T., Enrique G., Hugo Cabrera, Isabel R., Jose Fernando Herrera, Julie D., Lois R., Manuel Fagoaga, Mateo P., Miguel V., Patricio W., Regina A., Rodolfo M., Roman A., Stefan W., Teruhi Yoshioka, Ximena Villalobos, and Ivan Guerra 

played a HUGE, HUGE role in rolling out the success of this production. What I loved was more than any other production than I can remember, I saw these individuals even more than I can remember, before, during and after the show and I loved that.  To me it told me how involved more and more, year after year, individuals are becoming in the Theatre realm, and even coming back and playing a crucial part of the success of productions.  This is reassuring and makes everyone thinking about seeing a production, more definite in seeing future productions.  I never realized how much there is to realize about a production until you take time afterwards, during, and yes, even before, to contemplate and ponder what you are seeing and the connections it makes to the overall meaning of a single production.  In analyzing all the shows and each individual over the course of the last week and a half, I have learned so much more about the commitment given for such a long period of time thanks to the above mentioned individuals, even when it is in the wee hours of the morning, often when no one is around, you have t have a group of people that have a feeling that soars above any physical gratitude that is obvious at times.  it is exciting see this have never ceased to end in the individuals mentioned here, and has continued to grow.  This show there is truly no finale to that feeling, maybe of a physical show,  but not of the results of that show. Such was the case with “Y Me…”.


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Third Show Running, and Running Away With Talent…

SurprisedIt is funny, unless you are in Drama or Tech Club, the decision to choose a production might not exactly be on your radar – until it occurs.  I have realized with “Y Me…”, that it is very easy to feel this just happened, booom!  There it is!  Contrary to this, the elements of including a very specific list of instrument, individuals to play those instruments, let alone individual scenes, as well as individual songs, all that blend and go together?  Alot more to it than watching this unfold before your eyes!

I realized the wonder of this coming together and being able to recognize the countless individuals from all walks of life, that allow this to occur and be presented – in four shows.  Seeing all four shows is not enough to grasp the growth seen just that occurred from rehearsal, let alone what occurred in those four shows, but today, here we are.  Last day and two shows, and hopefully you will see the changes that increased from the first night’s show, which is pretty amazing as well.  Without further ado:


Adrian KIt is difficult NOT to see Adrian as an iconic educator now in the third show, but it is obvious, whether behind the Chemistry table or in the teacher’s lounge, his ability is evident.  Can you imagine a production, now, after seeing him on stage, not being in a single production before he graduated?  We can’t either.

Ana Cristina – It is hysterical to see her persistence in chasing anyone within the vicinity to see her petition.  The signs of her settling into her role are all there, and you easily begin to appreciate the various scenes she appears in, supporting the cast around her as she always has done in productions we have seen. 

Ana F- Her presence at Homecoming, with DJ Breakfast Muffin, as well as in and out of the teacher’s lounge is classic, well performed and well represented ever since the first show, and even stronger at the mic now.  It seems you can sense the confidence in her role in just one show – and that is what makes her stand out as she is growing on stage with each performance.

Ana Paula – It is difficult to not picture Ana now as Jacquline, yet easier to see the talent she brings to both roles, the ability to allow her confidence to overlap between both is evident, and you realize she is quite capable in a multitude of roles if given her.  Seeing her in different roles, in multiple shows, allows you to appreciate what she has under a quite fascade!

Analise A – Again, Analise pulls off the ultimate death stare and feeling mother, and never backs down from this personality.  She is as chilling as she was in the first production, and one has to wonder how tired she is at the end of each show?  Amazing and strict performance on stage, and one that definitely is able to set the tone and then some thanks to her demeanor.

Anna C – Even more confident and motherly, Anna seems to also grow in this role since the first show.  Being more insistent initially on the expectations to be successful, this makes her come around as understanding with Lacy even more rewarding when we see this towards the end of the show.  Anna is able to maintain her presence continually on this role which is heartwarming in the production overall.

Arantza M – It’s funny, you find yourself anticipating the scene with Jade, as well as how she represent herself on stage in the dance routines with the other cast.  It is difficult to say exactly why, but there is a huge comfort in knowing she is part of this production’s cast, and she effortlessly helps move the plot of the story forward.

Caroline T – Without a doubt, building on the first great performance, you are star struck and bound to the tons in her music numbers, that reach into you and meet you right where you are sitting.  Her ability to move some very attractive music scores find themselves on your lips at the intermission and even after, humming the, but realizing there is still an Etta James- style to her singing, which when you would see Caroline, you are deceived with what she can belt out.   One of the huge drama endearing casts in this production, she brings it home.

Emiliano M – Still able to personify the role of expectation exceeding reality, Emiliano works the role of father into a very acceptable and believable role.  His confidence is easy to detect, as well as his ability to allow Lacy to confront his needs for her.

Giulia – Without a doubt, her insistence on signs and “the end” lead up to the great explanation of what will occur as doomsday lingers near.  Hysterical, energetic, and filled with hilarity, Giulia is able to take this role and make it bend to her will. Love her energy into this role throughout the production!

Ingrid – Continuing to grab every note and turn it into an emotion, Ingrid even moreso than the first show, is able to obviously funnel her emotions at a higher level than I noticed the initial performance.  Coupled with her talent in vocals, the ability to tie the emotions that are in the music to her body language is superb.  She was made for this role, there is no doubt.

Isabella B – Maybe this is a factor of the more quiet and subtle Isabella is, the more she stands out, but in the third night’s show, you do realize how she “bounces” reactions of other cat members and still maintains her individuality as Rosetta as the parties, school functions, and in serious life dramas that occur.  You realize you would miss her role once you have seen it since the beginning.

Juliana – As Maria, I cannot imagine any other besides Marion in the other cast.  Her gutsiness, ability to come forward yet still hide behind her fears, and willingness to project her feelings in Fakin’ It are strong and uplifting.  She is without a doubt such a power star in this role, and her confidence and volume seems to have grown stronger since the first show.

Mariana R – Again, Mariana is the actress that you begin to look for, and you definitely do in this third show.  Her ability to evade the lurking DJ, while seemingly be the all around Jefferson High student, has this mix of being able to blend in while also sticking out in scenes that you remember.  Her performance remains strong, constant, and one that is easy to anticipate through each one of these shows.

Marianne – If you are good at remembering – you will notice a variation of dances that she attempts while at the parties, as well as maintaining the strong character, able to withstand the insulting come ons of others, and still remain an individual.  Marianne represents a stereotypical student in most schools based on existing through cliques and popularity often found in groups, and emerges her own character.  Awesome performance all the way though each night.

Diego M. – Diego’s interactions continue to grow with each show, and using persistence as his value, as well as not shying away from new moves at the dances and school events, his energy always seems put into reserve, and yet is still there.  His presence is welcomed, applauded, and well deserved throughout every show.

Gabriela S. – Being the all tell representative of the End of the World, Gabriela plays this to the hilt continually throughout the production, and never wavers.  Serving multiple roles in this production, she is able to represent this role effortlessly, from the first night to her second show appearance.  Even the X files seems to match with her ability to represent the quirky, sometimes out of place and sometimes right in tune with the age, character of Jade.

Natalia S – You almost continually hang on the her words as she stresses them to make a point, be it to teacher or student.  Her presence is iconic but Natalia continues to make it that way from the first show.  Her ability to represent Ms. Jarvis in so many hilarious student/teacher situations, and sometimes typical, sometimes not,  is a constant and well-anticipated.

Pablo G. –  His seriousness, his continued talent to be in the moment is ever-present, and always on display is his roles.  Knowing Pablo on and off the stage, you appreciate his approach to anything he deems important, and you see him put his all into this as well – which runs along the whole cast’s ability to take “Y Me…and make it what is has become.

Pedro V. –  He is one definite hysterical cast member that can guarantee a laugh out of you when you least see it coming.  I love that despite which role Pedro maintains, the ability he has to personalize it to his fashion, never ceases to be amusing.  From the beginning of his life on stage, you sense this and it only gets more developed.  LOVE.

Rodolfo B – It almost seems like a continuation of Bill & Ted’s Excellent adventure from the first show Rodolfo appears in.  His lines, his attempts to woo the ladies, his ability to cause a smile in every audience member, while continually haunting the students around him are unending.  His colorful acting, humor, and ability to push his character on everyone work, and continue to be hilarious from the first show with no end in sight.

Sebastian B. – Loving the moment he will pick up the Harley helmet agin, Sebastian does an amazing job of bringing Mr. Beckerman alive, and it seems like the first time despite the first show performance.  His ability to do this, and still cause a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde personality out of the resident Chemistry teacher is priceless.  He does such a superb job at this, and is part of what makes this production so enticing.  L O V E.  

Su K – Calm, confident, self assured, and strong, and that is just as the characters she always plays.  Take into account the mother she plays as Ms Miller, and you see alot of overlap in her real life, and her life as an actress.  It is easy to underestimate Su due to her quiet demeanor, but not at all hard to see her ability once she hits the stage, so so appreciated through the years seeing her develop in shows as well as through the years at ASF – exciting to see her. 

Additionally, when I heard and saw individuals, both students and parents alike leaving the FAC at the end of this third day, third show, and humming this song or that song, that was a sure indication how well this worked.  Already the fluency of the songs were on the lips of those that were lucky enough to catch this production.  Then that led to this grand realization that with this idea from Rob McCabe, came the support needed for the set, the rough edges being rounded off for production, and the elements that bring this to stage life, and you realize the responsibility that Teruhi Yoshioka and Hugo Cabrera took on, in addition to managing the FAC for the whole campus, and you realize, how did this happen?

I have said it once, and I will say it again – some of the best magic occurs where you do not see.  Always present, but now always evident the members that are the operations of the production are so so vital –  Mr Hugo Cabrera, Teruhi Yoshioka, Alan L, Alani, Alberto C., Andrea P,  Andrea T., Enrique G.,,  Isabel R., Jose Herrera,  Julia D., Loic R., Manuel F., Mateo P., Miguel V., Patricio W., Regina A., Roman A., Rodolfo M., and Ivan G continue to be the comeback heroes that enable many firsts to occur in this production!

There is is just SOMETHING about that orchestra!

Alejandra A., Alejandro M., Alex H., Alex De Winter, Our own Chris Muller, Bryn C., Andrew N., Claire R., Dave Rueb, Diego Zaragoza, Kyle Pape, Jang H., Jeong I., Luis Betancourt, Marc R., Marisol H., Olivia Maekawa, Regina R., Sofia H., Tomas M., William H., Yoko Mochizuki, and Annabella M

when you realize brothers, sisters, teachers, all contribute to the life that becomes the sound of this production, again, there is a story there that is its own life when it comes to Y Me…” and an amazing one at that!

And as an Encore the hear of so many ideas and directions…Director Rob McCabe, Hugo Cabrera Technical Director, Manuel Fagoga Choreography, Stefan W. Production Assistant, Teruhi Yoshioka Director, and Ximena Villalobos,  Ivan Guerra,  – a dream never quite gets off the ground unless there are are enough dreamers to excite those that can make the dream a reality.   It is exciting to see this performance embody that, and just to think, one last show that seals the fact that such a dream is a reality, even when the end is near!

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“What is the Difference Between A and B?” Realizations from the Second Night of “Y Me…”

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 5.41.03 AMSo you may or may not know, there is an A and B cast in most high school productions.  Is there an A and B cast in professional productions?  I would like to know this answer. Repertory Theatre?  I asked my PR editor Nina to help research that because I did not know!  Kudos to Nina!)

In my mind, I always felt that the A cast was the better cast, the B cast second best.  I stand corrected.  I learned much from this production, and what I learned the most?  It was that I was able to see traits from both casts that improved, that could be improved, or that grew in the process of seeing the musicals.  

This was a huge eye opener for me, because I was able to see double the members grow in many many ways, but I had to go to every show to believe and see this.  This is the art of loving something so much, you are willing to sacrifice your time if you see the value in it.  I can only say the Tech Cub, the Drama Club, all those involved with every musical I have EVER seen, has allowed me to gravitate to seeing so much more than a musical, a play, or simply a production at face value.   Realizations such as these are priceless.  How do you possibly pay back that thanks in pictures, reviews, or simply being at shows?  It can’t but it is a start.  So to all of you mentioned below and in future posts?  Thank you for more than you know, each and every time you take a risk on the stage.

Without further ado, onto the second day’s cast review – (Did you like that “Seussism” reference?)

Adrian   – Okay so some would say there was no comparison to Adrian to Sebastian.  That is a VERY hasty remark, and not warranted.  When you look and really examine this role, Sebastian brought an alternative personality to Mr. B that would fit is role as a Chemistry teacher as WELL as a secret “Rebel Without a Cause” member of Jefferson High.  His reserved and yet radical personality quirks came out even stronger because of his reservedness that Sebastian maintained.  Would I have realized this to the level I did without an A cast?  Most likely no.  Kudos to you as you ride into the sunset on your Harley Sebastian  so that is Sebastian.  What about Adrian?

Adrian without a doubt rocks this character beyond belief and almost reembodies Mr. Beckerman.   From the moment Beckerman is brought to bravado due to his tireless commitment to the students, to his head-banging rock interests, to the helmet carried just the right way, Adrian’s Beckerman is just as amazing, if not moreso than Sebastians. Adrian’s version is amazing, hysterical, and perfect for Adrian, and he pulls it off amazingly, and I can only imagine how much more GUSTO Adrin will add to this character by the end of the show.  The awesome most coolest Guns N Roses thing is this, Adrian does this in a way that only Adrian, can, and that is what makes this so amazing.

Ana CristinaEver the environmentalist, Ana constantly is upping her commitment to get those petitions, and you see her insistence creeping up in this second show.  Excellent.  It seems she is personalizing the role even more as the show progresses, and this is exciting to see on stage in someone able to contribute so much more on stage, as I think she will in the future.

Tamara KSeeing Tamara begin to add emphasis to her points at the mic as Jacobson, I was able to see the personality traits that at first make you think Tamara is a back up or a behind the scenes kind of actress.  I do not believe this.  I see her having trait that hover below the surface and wait for the right time to surface, and when they do – you are sitting there nodding your head knowing there are aspects there that you are grateful for catching.  Way to go Tamara, excited to see how you grow this role even more into the future.

Ana Paula LOVED seeing Ana as Jacqueline and I sensed her solo “Keep on Keepin’ On” lets you notice what she is capable of.  I predict she is able to even land that role stronger, as if her first time was strong enough.  She might be quiet and reserved in school (she is) but when she lets loose a bag of emotion waiting to be opened, everyone notices.  BIG TIME.

Analise AIt is SO difficult to not recognize Analise as the restrictive and scary mom when you see her in the teacher’s lounge, lol, but that is to her credit.  When she cracks a smile in the teacher’s lounge, you do confirm she is capable of many more aspects in acting than you might have thought.  LOVE.

Arantza M – It is again exciting to see how some actresses can do subtle things with their roles that could go undetected so easily.  Yet, from the microphone attendant to the moves she spins around the character Maria, you see Arantza also add more and more personality as each night progresses.  This shows her ability as an actress able to grow into any role she is given and make it more than when she first started.

Marion R. – Okay seriously, did you know she has that set of vocal cords on her?  The kind of deep soul that results surprises you to say the least, and yet, the edginess that is need to pull off Maria is always there.  Marion is able to present a different type of Maria, yet does it well, and defines the difference between and A and B cast, two sides to every coin. Wow does she make that coin shine!

Emiliano M. – Is there a difference between a police officer and a parent?  Some would say no, lol. but Emiliano brings the same importance to this role as he did the show before.  No mater how subtle, is is great he can diversify and embody any role in any production as needed.  His Spanish in the teacher’s lounge?  Classic.

Pablo G The intensity (You can almost see lines in his jaw) he carries in his family, the love he has for his wife, and expectations he doesn’t realize are his own and not his daughters? Pablo brings this home easily, and effortlessly.  He is able to annunciate in a  way that stresses what is expected in all his family without realizing the implications until it matters – played brilliantly.

Giulia – Hysterical.  Her doomsday explanation as Jade is a highlight for sure.  The X files have nothing on her at all.  Can you imagine how great this will be the last night as well?  I am not sure it can be any better after seeing her energy from her media speech, as well as her also representing something Maria needs, played off just as the way you would hope – very very well done.

Patricio V. – Perhaps one of the biggest surprises and take aways is the role switch of mother to father for Jacqueline.  LOVE THIS DECISION.  I am allowed to be biased, okay but LOVE Patricio taking this role and RUNNING away with it in this particular show.  The breaking of “glass” and seeing it roll into the orchestra?  CLASSIC.  HE SCARES ME.  He does this role HUGE justice and this, I hope will not be the last we see of Patricio.

Lucia – There is no doubt in my mind how Lucia is able to pull off the ultimate, “Wonder Woman, save the day, reach into your heart and pull a little, shake the emotions around a bit, and then sit back in awe: show, yet she does.  She looks you in the eye and you want to cry.  You feel she IS the one more emotional than anyone as she is acting, or is she.  As always, Lucia’s ability to embody the emotions that are in the air, and bring them to a sense of reality you would not expect?  You want to say thanks after scene, note, and song. 

Pablo G, – Lets act as if Pablo can not sing for a moment (um yeah).  The energy, timidness, awkwardness, as well as naive discovery of finding himself as a new person in new social situations is one of just – reawakening?  He allows the audience to feel this every step of the way. Okay now add to the mix his talent in voice – and you are thanking your lucky stars for grabbing the opportunity to take in this production.  Hysterical, serious, memorable and one of many cast members that are off the charts in this production.  Heck yeah to Pablo.

Isabella B – Yes, Isabella still continues to smile, support, and without immediate instant recognition from the audience, maintain her presence as a constant through this production.  What occurs subtly is her ability to bring her role forward in moments and make you ask, why didn’t I see that before?  Her able to pull Maria’s eye from Percy was still there in the first show ad yet, in every show you notice something she does that makes the production a success.  I love that her constancy allows this revelation with every show she you see her in.  

Mariana R – Deflecting flirtations, surviving Chemistry, and continuing to support Jefferson High are all part of ho Mariana fits herself in easily as a constant through this production. You find without realizing it, where and when you look for her in various scenes, and then it dawns on you, how she has been able to present herself as a staple part of this show without you even realizing it initially!

Marianne – She just absolutely fits, sometimes hysterically funny, sometimes deadly serious, but the production is totally that much less without her.  Scenes for the parties, to the school halls, I love her as Kat in this production and there is no way this production is the same without her.

Diego M. – Why do I associate Ms Jarvis with Miles so much?  Because he does this so well.  YET, after the first show, you see his “personality” at parties, and a host of other places you did not notice before.  Hence, the art of subtly arises again.

Natalia SShe does it again and again and again.  Almost owning and redefining the teacher’s lounge, and her magnetism to Mr> Beckerman, Natalia lets you anticipate the dryness and frankness in each scene she appears in.  She gives us plenty of reason of why to see more than one show and come back for more.  Miles does.

Pedro V. –  Still able to get the subtle incidents in Chemistry class, it is impossible to not see Pedro as a part in as many scenes as possible and you realize – they do not have to be huge lines. He easily trades Percy with his role, and still brings the humor no problem.  His ability to personalize one word?  You realize how his longevity is acting is successful.

Mikel I.  – So at first you are like, no he is too big of a guy to be a DJ.  You get past the difference from Rodolfo with his hysterical methods to try and be sneaky with the ladies. You even look forward to the moment it actually might work.  Despite being a breakfast muffin reference, Mikel brings the right amount of hilarity to make this work and work well.

Su K – Certainly Su is able to bring the mother characteristics front and center – and jump right alongside Pablo’s role of father without a blink.  Her motherly nature, as well as that shift from expectations driven to understanding, perfect.  There is no too much or not enough, she slides into this and is able to make this appear as it was hers all long. Excellent job.

So as the shows continue to wonder, did you need elaborate sets?  Sophisticated ingenuity to pull it off?  Ot just a power mix of motivation to to get all the cast to make up for any missing parts of elements, with more in one less in another, etc..   These are the aspects that happen into the wee hours of performance on the shoulders of  Mr. Hugo Cabrera, Teruhi Yoshioka, and Rob McCabe and still do not cease to amaze you with the details that often many do not think of.  This trickles on down to the implementation thanks to Alan L, Alani P, Alberto C., Andrea P,  Andrea T., Stefan W., Enrique G., Isabel R., Jose Herrera guru of the stage,  Julia D., Loic R., Manuel Fagoga., Mateo P., Miguel V., Patricio W., Regina A., Roman A., Rodolfo M., and Ivan G running around like crazy and together?  Success!

Again, every night there is a separate story being told in the orchestra pit as well and thanks to al those that brought a second show to major life – Alejandra A., Alejandro M., Alex H., Alex De Winter, Chris Muller, Bryn C., Andrew N., Claire R., Dave Rueb, Diego Zaragoza, Kyle Pape, Jang H., Jeong I., Luis Betancourt, Marc R., Marisol H., Olivia Maekawa, Pedro R., Regina R., Sofia H., Tomas M., William H., Yoko Mochizuki, and Annabella M!  

The difference between A and B?  It was never made more crystal clear than this second performance, and down to the amazing parents that man the front line support in the lobby, A and B might stand alone in the alphabet, but certainly not on ant stage set of “Y Me…”, kudos to a second night of fun, drama, and internal heart throbbing!

Check the brief video below to see the intensity that Mr. McCabe hopes to get across to everyone within viewing distance of this production!

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One of a Kind only Occurs Once in Awhile…Evident in “Y Me…” in the Second Evening.

IMG_2665When everything around you slowly fades away and you are left with profound images, of a beauty you see, those moments are priceless. These could happen in almost any setting that finds itself of interest to someone fascinated with that particular moment at hand; riding a horse across a wooded field, creating a masterpiece out of clay or acrylic, simply practicing a form of martial arts in a park, to simply viewing an adult reading to a younger child. Many forms, many aspects of beauty that come out through so many diverse talents.

April 28th brought such a moment. On the second night of “Y Me…”, I chose a front seat in the FAC to capture the best pictures possible, as well as to take in at an even closer angle the production with a new cast in its second showing. At one moment, I was able to do just that, see the conducter, (and director, and creator) of “Y, Me…” in full swing from the moments before the start all the way through to the end of this production. An intimate showing of how the orchestra worked together, both in music and among each other was one of the best shows in itself. It must be a deep sense of satisfaction for Mr. McCabe to see, feel, and experience the powerful vocal and musical pieces unwinding in front of him and him as a main participant.

I say this because I, as a member of the audience felt this satisfaction of personalization, something unique and magical in the power of the solo musical numbers, the overall story, and seeing students in a new cast and not even being aware they had such power of emotion to bring this home to so many people in the audience. It moves you and it at least did me. In this moment, I was able to see nothing as well but the energy and feeling Mr. McCabe had as his motions, energy, and expressions moved over the orchestra, to the stage and all on that stage, back down over the orchestra, and into his energy again that directed itself in a huge level of appreciation for all those that were making this night occur. I thought of the famed and so energetic Alondra de la Parra, and remember her many moments on stage and how taken away I witnessed her in front of that very orchestra as a whole new world unfolded in front of her. Everything flowed right through her, and the same occurred this evening; I felt the same way here in this moment with Rob McCabe, and it was an art form occurring in itself, and well deserved.


Without further ado, the next post will applaud this cast on the second showing of “Y Me…” and you will see how this production as developed and unfolded in just 2 shows in front of so many. If you were on the fence about seeing a production that would stay with you, don’t think twice, make sure you get to the 4:00 or the 7:00 showing tonight, and in no way will you ever regret this decision on many levels.

Stay tuned for the pics, the revises, and the video that confirms this second show was leading its way to a great third and fourth showing today! The next post will review the tremendous feeling mixed with Mr. McCabe’s creativity, that resulted in one smashing successful second evening show. It gives me chills to realize how the third and fourth shows Saturday will feel with the realization of all the unique moments tied in this one of a kind production.


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We Weren’t “In the Dark” at all from the first show of “Y Me…”

IMG_2289One wonders what the first night of any musical will be in store.  Sometimes good sometimes bad.  All of those are trivial in the terms of what are good and bad.  This particular night, electric was in the air but not in the FAC.  You could hear the generator, but could not see any results as everyone anticipated the beginning of the first show.  A little after 6:00 PM – it all came together.  Doors opened, the FAC slowly filled (exciting numbers for the first night) – and we anticipated what was to come.

Certainly say that with the elements of this being a first time for so many aspects, there was an edge of anticipation added to the fact that we were in the FAC and it was starting!  It was awesome to see the appetizing sandwiches, the refreshments, and the positive support and air, it was contagious to know that this level of positivity was present even when the unexpected occurs.

Details of the production will also unfold but let’s go straight to the members that revealed so many refreshing aspects to a musical that was a definite successful first for s many reasons.

Adrian K – The first show subtlety was not a key aspect, and it is good that is wasn’t. as the role of teacher on the teacher’s lounge was played perfectly and humorously.  Remants of his talent from The Radium Girls were still present and welcomed in seeing Adrian back on stage. 

Ana Cristina – Loving that she is a strong environmentalist for whales and constantly emphasizing the cast in front of her as well, Ana never seems to appear as a supporting role and easily fits into every scene – awesome to see her back on stage.

Ana F- Loved her educational presence throughout the musical, and her sense of naive awareness at times of students is played off perfectly.  Ana is a great great member of this staff.

Ana Paula – Dancing her way on and off the sets and supporting the cast around her as well as representing her easily as part of the student body, Ana has a way of supporting the production as a whole whole also remaining an individual contributing member as only Ana can pull off in productions.

Analise A – Wow.  Just simply wow.  Pulling this off was not easy task, is a stressful (to say the least) role and yet, if Analise put any more emotion into this role, I thought I would have a nervous breakdown. How she pulls it all together at the end as well? – LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Anna C – I worried when I heard the softness of her voice as the beginning and was completely relived by the end of this production of her contribution.  Anna was able to implement the emotions surrounding her role and project them out through a confident voice, and as a mother, that allows you to realize how amazing Anna can be on stage.  

Arantza M – Not sure if you realized how warming a smile Arantza has but as the sound mic for the end of the world broadcast, as well as her energy seen between scenes? – Total aura of a student that is facing the challenges of life, gravitating towards being a senior, hmmm, not just her own life but her ability to project this on stage?  She pulls it all off effortlessly.

Caroline T – Yes.  Yes Yes yes.  Locomotive of emotion, restraint, and letting go.  Caroline brings that drama to the drama of her character, projects it, and it bounds through you in waves throughout the production.  She aligns with the emotions set out by Analise perfectly.

Emiliano M – Supporting role as the overbearing father, loving husband, and contributing factor to Lacy’s future, Emiliano comes through easily and effortlessly in this role.  

Giulia – Walking on and off, Giulia does not just represent a walk on and walk off attitude of a typical actor.  Her enthusiasm, energy, and positive vibes on the stage, anytime she is on the stage is only a part of the reason why it seems absolutely natural she is a part of this cast.

Ingrid – It goes without saying that Ingrid grabs the heartstrings of the audience with several of her solo moments, be it as the reformer of everyone’s lives or vocally, but she nails it every time.  She seems to embody the theme of Today is the Day and with a confidence that set the tone for this whole production night.

Isabella B – Again, part of a strength of any actor, is their enthusiasm, energy, and positivity as a supporting and main character.  As Rosetta, she has all these characteristics and is able to portray her energy through anyone that is beside her. 

Juliana – Another HUGE WOW. Her vocals, emotions, sincerity, and energy that flows into the other key characters is impossible to not detect.  She lets it on stage for all to share, revel in, and appreciate.  She hits the stage in the first lines with this energy, and from thereafter, never loses that magical presence she brings, maintains, and elevates throughout the whole production.

Mariana R – One does not have to look for to find Mariana and her contributions throughout the production.  Being hit on, supporting the student body, representing Jefferson High, and maintaining her own identity throughout.  She nails all of this and more and she is able to activate her presence continually throughout this production, total success.

Marianne – I honestly could not imagine a better individual to represent the music genres, and the reflective student of a student body, as well as managing a “cool” James Dean-like tone throughout “Y Me…”.  She nails this role, seems to create her own individual personality as Kat, and even the name fits.  She is a plus as part of this cast.

Diego M. – Again, fitting into stereotypes perfectly, Diego is always at the right place at the right time to cause a reaction on stage.  Even in the darkest moments on stage, he is able to show what he is capable of and how he draws out reactions from the cast around him.  Bravo.

Gabriela S. – Certainly persistent, unafraid to stand alone, and willing to step forward – all of these describe Gabriela on the first night.  She is able to command a steady presence in many scenes, and continue to play a supporter of pertinent issues that make “Why Me…” such an important production.  It will be exciting to see her in future productions and where she will go.

Natalia S – Could the hysterical nature of a student be better represented?  I think not.  The tone, volume, dry humor, academic /smart tone, and MORE, she brings so much MORE to the role as Jarvis, and continues to bring out what every teacher would want to say at time and never dare.  Her contribution is mighty, and does NOT have to be measured by quantity, as he makes use of every line perfectly that she is given.  Awesome performance.

Pablo G. –  Perfect, albeit brief, contribution in the teacher’s lounge, and yet he capitalizes on representing that accent and it is memorable.  Heck, maybe that is because almost anything Pablo. touches is memorable, and he sticks true to that with his lines in this first production.

Pedro V. –  Unable to get the image of the rad cowbell from Fame out of your mind?  Pedro returns with a tone downed version of Percy, but certainly not disappointing at the least.  He continues to a blast of enthusiasm, energy, and insight through Percy, and every moment is enjoyable, his vocals appreciated and meaningful, and he does not fail ONCE to captivate as the production progresses.  Excellent and welcome choice in a GREAT role.

Rodolfo B – He seems fit for this role – absolute.  His flirting, one liners, expertise interest on the DJ scene, and basement parties – he adds the right chemicals needs for the high school experiment.  He easily becomes the student that every other teacher and students knows through the course of a graduation trek.

Sebastian B. – If you were surprised to see Sebastian on the stage on Radium Girls, then you are in for a treat for “Y Me…”.  His multi-faceted personality, shifting between serious, to gamer, to motorcyclist, to braniac Chem guru, to student confidant and counselor, to…his presence is easily made powerful among every interaction, and there are many, of the cast.

Su K – Subtle, quiet, yet, reinforcing that she is quite capable of being a presence on the stage, as a mother, and closing this night’s production in style.  Whatever role Su plays in, the waves of confidence, sureness, and capability roll out into the audience.  She is always an asset on and off the stage.

Those staff members you may or may not recognize – and who ADD GUSTO to this production!


Of course as you know now, the patience in “light” of when things do not go as planned, and the steadiness that follows behind that patience, the Tech and production team always come through and are the best hits in front, and behind the curtain!   This first night was no exception as you begin to congratulate Mr Hugo Cabrera, Teruhi Yoshioka for leading such an amazing venture forward.  Add to this power list the likes of Alan L, Alani P (great job on makeup!), Alberto C., Andrea P,  Andrea T., Enrique G., Isabel R., Jose Herrera (he is BACK and AWESOME YESSSS!), Julia D., Loic R., Manuel F., Mateo P., Miguel V., Patricio W., Regina A., Roman A., Rodolfo M., and Ivan G ( YES! Alumni Ivan!  We love you back!)

Oh but did you even glance at the instrumental section and see ASF alumni, teachers, students and their families donning musical instruments?  The collection itself of individuals that make up this ensemble? – you will hear how priceless when you see the diverse talents that make one solid successful musical track throughout this production.  HUGE KUDOS to:

Alejandra A., Alejandro M., Alex H., Alex De Winter (oh yes the good ones do come back!), Our own Chris Muller, Bryn C., Andrew N., Claire R., Dave Rueb, Diego Zaragoza, Kyle Pape, Jang H., Jeong I., Luis Betancourt, Marc R., Marisol H., Olivia Maekawa, an AWESOME Pedro R. on drums, Regina R., Sofia H., Tomas M., William H., Yoko Mochizuki, and Annabella M!  

This group together changes the perception of the whole musical, as well as the depth of diversity that each brings to the overall feeling.  When you see the passion displayed through the following masterminds of this production:

Director Rob McCabe, Hugo Cabrera Technical Director, Manuel Fagoga Choreography, Stefan W. Production Assistant, Teruhi Yoshioka Director, and Ximena Villalobos (YES!  Back to us!) with additional alumni Ivan Guerra,  – all taking such a risk on a first time, one of a kind dive into a one of a kind original production, you have a heartfelt, personal production that hits home to one of many memories we have had with dealing with what the future can and will hand us.  The ASF Theatre Company becomes a foundation within the ASF Foundation showing that risks, creativity, venturing into the unknown without heart NEVER goes unrewarded.  You will experience this every step into the hallway of Jefferson High, surrounded and accompanied by a ton of familiar, creative spirits.  Thank to the support you feel from the time you walk into the lobby of the FAC from the parents, to seeing the countless faculty and staff surrounding you, and the students that come out in masses to support this creative venture – this is one successful “first” you do NOT want to miss.  Hope to see you tonight or one one of the two shows Saturday!  Great job Mr. McCabe!


By the way, did the announcements sound familiar during this production? !!






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“Y Not You” for “Y Me…”

Y MeVERY few times do you get a chance to see something for the first time, especially in a world where the speed of EVERYTHING, allows you to multitask and speed up your life, and yes, accomplish MANY things at one time.  Yet, when the opportunity comes along to experience something unique, the first of its kind, EVER, is that worth passing up – not usually.

For the first time ever, you get the privilege of seeing a production, written by one of our own ASF staffs, score, set, ALL OF IT, never seen before, originally made for ASF, and featuring ASF cast and contributions BY THAT SAME ASF cast, in a production NEVER seen or heard before, and with the option of other schools obtaining the right to put this production on.  How often do you get a chance to do THAT?

Walking on the stage for the first time, the first thing I noticed was the modern look to this production, islands of sound equipment on left stage, right stage, in the audience, this was truly like nothing seen before.  Then it hits you, the risks that the staff in the orchestra, on the tech staff, on the cast, the directors, sponsors, costumes, the set, the risk that everyone was taking on something that has never been done or accomplished before?  THAT ALONE is a curiosity that simply will not stop itching.  We have a contest right now, EASY, to allow you to be a part of this production:

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 8.04.48 AM

I do not want to be the one to be the one that says, “I wish I would have seen that at some point, because, this is truly history in the making, with a whole lot of courage on many fronts and backs (stage that is).  I am so excited for this opportunity that has been laid before us at ASF, especially after hearing the score, “Forbidden Love” at the Grade Level meetings, and you have to wonder – how does one like Rob McCabe have this whole idea, come to fruition, for an ASF production?  I am as excited as ever to see that answer starting tomorrow night.  DO NOT be the one in the aftermath of this exciting adventure asking, “Y Me?” on the wrong side of this production!  

Y Me





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Rocking in the Highlands.

What are the chances?  Meaning, receiving an amazing group of students from Edinboro University and Slippery Rock University as student teachers, and realizing these must be the cream of the crop because they are AWESOME!!

That was the feeling you could HEAR as we descended upon the American Legion in Condesa for tons of ice cream, whipped cream, toppings, and as much fun and interchange as we could muster.

These students brought a breath of excitement and fun to ASF in just TWO days, brought by Dr. Robert Snyder, Ph.D and author of What is a Veteran Anyway? – and the combination of having myself attended Edinboro University and Slippery Rock University? The familiarity of being surrounded by these students was awesome as ASF teachers mingled and the volume of conversations ebbed and flowed across the room.

It is always a great, great part of the year when such students come to ASF, and this evening proved how lucky we truly were with such a dynamic, talented, and interesting group of 16 that have come to us – life is good!

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Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, What Legends are Made Of.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.54.58 AMApril 2nd’s production of Amadeus, by Peter Shaffer, certainly was what you would expect of a production of the National Theatre at the Lunario, and leaves you on the edge of your seat.  As always, interpretation and follow through have never been a weak spot of most of the National Theatre’s productions, and this would not be the case either.

Having seen a much earlier production of Amadeus, and securing the soundtrack, I knew even at its worst I was in for something extraordinary.  That did not even begin to describe the impact of Shaffer’s Amadeus. The combination of modern to classic, the factions within factions that worked against each other constantly, were just a few of the highlights that allowed this production to steer you back into a nonfiction and fictionalized production of Amadeus.  All these years, of course I thought the rivalry between Antonio Salieri and Mozart, had been a reality.  of course there might have been a slight animosity, but when you find most of this is highly fictionalized, and that in moments each composer supported each other in various performances, much of the trepidation and deceit was fictionalized, and I realized, I never had even heard anything by Antonio Salieri – and when you do- you realize what a talent Antonio Salieri brought to composing.

Yes, Lucian Msamati, in the role of Salieri, who I have never seen before on stage – stunning and straight to the heart from the very beginning.  As for Adam Gillen – his contrasts to Salieri and poignant thoughts on life that did not mesh into the German styles of opera and composing – it fueled the power that Msamati brought to the stage as Salieri.  He was everything that you would hope Amadeus would be and more.

The set was dark, yet full of life, and death, able to shift as you would imagine the set would shift for any theatre in London, Vienna, or in Europe at the time, and the touch that only a set of The National Theatre could create, seemed to add to the life and death of this staged performance.  Play on Mozart, play on for sure.




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Harold Pinter’s ,”No Man’s Land” could Be Anyone’s Land Without Precaution

There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.” – Harold Pinter.

I thought I missed my chance at seeing No Man’s Land at The Lunario March 5th and 5th , but no!  When No Man’s Land advertised, and was listed again for March 29th and the chance to see Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan on stage together was too good to resist.  

Damian Molony and Owen Teale also surprised me in how much they made this tale of reminiscing and regretting and definitely caught in between.  When the curtain lifted you are taken in by the Mid Summer Night’s Tale scenery that makes up the outside of the room of the setting. The room itself is very grand, truly isolating all the actors into one “arena” so to speak.

First published in 1975, Harold Pinter was an amazing talent in the areas of playwright, authors of screenplays, and as a director, actor, and screen writer. I never knew him.  I wish there was a curriculum that made mandatory the use of playwrights so everyone could be exposed to them at some point – for in Pinter, he seems enlightening to say the least.

Even other performances of No Man’s Land, exhibit the reality of lost opportunities, and what remains when you do not make the most of a life.  The question is, whose thoughts are these?  One person?  Individuals from one’s life?  The contemplation of where these ponderings come from, where they lead and what become of a life unfulfilled come full throttle to your lap, and leave them there to contemplate.  This is a powerful tool to be carried by actors, but actors that are quite capable of handling such a heavy topic.

The power of words is brought center stage thanks to the brilliant work of Howard Pinter.  I love the fact that The National Theatre Live, brings so many productions that cause contemplation.  No Man’s land does in fact take the ponderings and existence of words and juggles, aims, throws, and glances blows with such a dialogue, all the while, you see the drama of life, death, and truly in between fall in various points of view from all actors on stage. 

In this case, and this production, for sure, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” -William Shakespeare.

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