Saturday, February 9, 2019

"American Night: The Ballad of Juan José"

American Night: The Ballad of Juan José
Richard Montoya
Los Altos Stage Company

Adrian Torres, Carlos Diego Mendoza & Dan Cardenas
Maybe it was when I first heard the Mexican-American actor say “jew” for “you” or when his character talked about wanting to get into the “Jew-S-A” that I began to check out.  After all, I grew up as a kid in an era when I remember – now with much embarrassment and regret – watching on black-and-white TV and laughing at Bill Dana’s José Jiménez or Looney Tunes’ Speedy Gonzales.  So the “jew” hit me wrong, even though I knew coming in that Richard Montoya’s American Night: The Ballad of Juan José is seen by others as a celebrated, satirical romp through American history – one with a much-touted, world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2010 and subsequent, well-reviewed performances across the nation.  But that one word along with an early scene of corrupt, Mexican police trying to bribe a reluctant Juan José where again the portrayals to me made me cringe more than laugh unfortunately left me in an mood that grew more and more irritated as I continued to watch the next near-two hours of Los Altos Stage Company’s production of American Night: The Ballad of Juan José.

For my full review, please continue to Talkin' Broadway:

Rating: 2 E

American Night: The Ballad of Juan José continues through February 17, 2019 at Los Altos Stage Company, 97 Hillview Avenue, Los Altos, CA.  Tickets are available online at or Monday – Friday, 3 – 6 p. in person at the box office or by calling 650-941-0551.

Photo Credit: Richard Mayer

1 comment:

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