WE missed the first ever Filipino zarzuela in English, about a sabungero (cockfight enthusiast), in LA.
Here’s a photo of (from left) the youthful Roces brothers: Francisco “Pipo” Roces (85), artist Rodolfo Samonte and Dr. Alejandro Roces (83). Dr. Roces based the sabungero character, Kiko the Cockfighter, on Pipo, who lives in LA.
Fortunately, our friend Zen Lopez, the Arts and Culture Commissioner of Glendale, California, shared this with us: “Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez said that it’s a miracle that Philippine National Artist for Literature Dr. Alejandro Roces’ ‘Something to Crow About,’ a modern zarzuela, became a reality in LA.
“Given our time constraints (only six weeks to prepare), all the hurdles that the group had to go through to get here — up to the last minute, they did not know if they would get their US visas, the challenges putting this event together and accommodating and arranging for a group of 50 people, it was amazing to witness the miracle of the first-ever Filipino zarzuela (in English) unfolding last Thursday, June 28, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.
“Los Angeles being the City of Angels, we are grateful for the abundance of angels without whose help and generosity the zarzuela would not have been possible. The group felt the warmth and welcome of LA. The cast gave us such an outstanding performance, lifting our spirits and inspiring pride in our heritage.”
Zen, a former Bayanihan dancer and tireless promoter of Pinoy culture in LA, thanks the community’s support on behalf of Dr. Roces, Cecile (executive director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts), executive producers Susan and Ed Dilkes and co-producer Ted Benito of TDRZ Productions, Inc.
“Something to Crow About” was also staged in New York.