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Cinco de Salsation!

Cinco de Salsation! May 5, 2011

After twelve years, Chicago’s premiere Latin improv and sketch comedy group will be holding its first benefit event!  It will be a beautiful evening filled with fantastic food.  And prizes!  The donations for prizes keep coming at  http://www.salsation.org/?p=1316.

Salsation Theatre Company has been my comedic home since 2002 when I joined them as a writer, composer and cast member for My Big Fat Quinceañera.  In 2004, I was invited into Salsation’s ensemble and joined their Board of Directors just last month.

Salsation Theatre Company, NFP: comedy with a LATIN flavor, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create and present works that consider the role of Latinos in America and to inspire and educate artists in the performing arts as a medium for self-expression.

Over these almost eight years, Salsation has provided me the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing writers, directors and performers, learn about and be actively involved in arts management and discover and develop talents I did not know I had.  If anyone has benefited from Salsation’s two-fold mission, it is me!

We are fortunate to hold our event at Ristorante al Teatro in the heart of Pilsen. When fellow ensemble member Maria Mendoza and I met with the owner of the restaurant and theater, he gave us  the grand tour of the place. The tour included the 800-seat theater modeled after the old Prague opera house and built before the 1893 World’s Fair.  The theater is a Chicago Landmark and is being restored to its original grandeur.  Even in its current state, I was overwhelmed by its layout and beautiful detail.  I sang a phrase from Aida’s aria “Ritorna vincitor!” and could not believe the acoustics!

Salsation is a fantastic not-for-profit theater and Ristorante al Teatro is a great restaurant.  I hope you will celebrate your Cinco de Mayo with us!

Who: Salsation Theatre Company, NFP – “comedy with a LATIN flavor”
What: Cinco de Salsation! A fiesta benefit for Salsation Theatre Company, NFP
Where: Ristorante al Teatro at Thalia Hall (Chicago Landmark), 1227 W. 18th St., Chicago
When: Thursday, May 5, 2011 (Cinco de Mayo) from 6-10PM
Tickets: $20 pre-sale; $25 at the door.  Call (773) 828-9117 or purchase online at http://www.salsation.org

About Salsation Theatre Company, NFP

The primary purposes of Salsation Theatre Company, NFP is the presentation and creation of comedic and other theatrical works which consider the role of Latinos in American society and related topics; and to inspire and educate Latinos and non-Latinos in the use of theatrical and other performing arts as a medium for self-expression.

— from “Mission Statement.” Salsation Theatre Company, NFP. 21 Mar. 2011. < http://www.salsation.org >

About Ristorante al Teatro

Ristorante Al Teatro is located at the corner of Allport and 18th St. inside the historic Thalia Hall, which was first built in 1892 as a hall for meetings, musical and theatrical productions.  Let Ristorante al Teatro transport you into a time capsule where you can enjoy artesian gelato made daily on premises featuring 24 flavors.  Add to that the exquisite experience of fresh roasted coffee, home-made pastry and you have a front row seat to the complete culinary performance! Chef’s table available weekly.

— from “About Us.” Ristorante al Teatro at Thalia Hall. 21 Mar. 2011. < http://www.alteatro.us >

About Thalia Hall

Built as a hall for meetings and for musical and theatrical productions, this building was named for Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy and pastoral poetry. Typical of such halls, this design incorporated retail and residential facilities, which helped to support the theater financially. Unique among buildings of this type is its interior theater, which was modeled after that of the Old Opera House in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where many of the residents of the surrounding Pilsen neighborhood had emigrated.

— from “Thalia Hall.” Chicago Landmarks. The City of Chicago’s Official Site. 21 Mar. 2011. < http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/landmarksweb >

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