Hola readers! This frigid cold weather has this Nuyorkina bouncing off the walls – but luckily for you, I have tons to review. So settle in our favorite cozy chair and warm beverage of choice before we start – go ahead, I’ll wait. Okay, let’s begin: for this past V-day holiday instead of spending it as the usual, (flowers, candy, annoyance) I spent it with 50 Shades of funny. Room28 is a collective of bright and very talented Latinos stretching their comedic chops across the tri-state area – with ambitions to go national.
Refusing to accept the continuous snub of Latinos on primetime television, (SNL = Still No Latinos after 40 years of being on-air) this group has vehemently gone above and beyond to bring on the funny minus the red tape. Their hardworking efforts has garnered industry buzz for embodying the mantra “if you build it, they will come.” The outcome has been six consecutive sold-out shows in the last few months since their comeback in March of 2014 (click here for previous review). Proving that our experiences and stories are just as valid and worthy of the same recognition as our non-Latino counterparts. Just some food for thought, y’all.
Due to high demand, their V-day special was split between two nights. Stoli Vodka, Sprinkle Cupcakes, along with a number of other local establishments located in Northern Manhattan sponsored the event. Via their Instagram, the collective hosted a V-day contest for the “best pick-up line” and guess who won? That’s right, me! When I first arrived to the Poet’s Den Theatre it was packed and full of excited patrons ready to see what the comedy troupe had in store. And despite frigid cold weather, it drew a large crowd from different walks of life. I even ran into my old film crew buddy Volney Guzman (who now works production at VICE) from my Fordham University days X amount of years ago… no comments from the peanut gallery, profa. The comedy show featured eight skits accompanied by a few pre-recorded Spanish telenovela-esque vignettes called Quarto Veinte Ocho (translating to Room28). And as an added bonus, we attendees were blessed with a very special appearance from America’s leading spoken word poet Caridad de la Luz aka “La Bruja.”
From start to finish the show was packed with gems that were relatable and universal – key components in keeping the crowd bellyaching with laughter. Their use of social media in one skit (Oh, You Think I’m Stupid) really hit home with us Latino millennials – giving the ensemble that extra oomph with regards to writing and creativity. And speaking of creativity, while simultaneously working on these shows, the crew has dusted off their musical chops for our amusement. Today, February 24, 2015 Room28 made it’s debut on renowned publication Latina magazine’s homepage for their music video “Subway Girls.” According to the video’s creator Andrew Casanova (and most recent cast member) “Subway Girls” is a comedic song about how girls take transit and are subjected to horrible pickup lines when they really don’t want to be bothered. Think of the movie “Shame,”add in some humorous lyrics, and that’s pretty much the premise. Peep full music video below:
• Details to look out for:
• Second newcomer to the cast is Zahaira Curiel. Zahaira is a working actress, production manager, entrepreneur (Sassy’s Sweets NYC) and also Lin-Manuel Miranda’s assistant at the Public House Theatre featuring his new musical “Hamilton“– garnering rave reviews from critics.
• If Ariana Rodriguez looks familiar; she’s done a number of TV spots, print ads and was recently seen worldwide in the Wodka Vodka commercial now viewable on YouTube.
• Karina Ortiz will soon be seen on your TV screen playing the role of Margarita on the hit series “Orange Is The New Black” scheduled for a June release.
Now, I could name the accomplishments of each individual cast member, but that would make this post entirely too long. But if you’d like to keep up with the entire cast of Room28 and/or for more impending show dates, please click here. I also wanted to take the time to give a special thank you to my co-worker Rich for accompanying me kind of last minute – it was very much appreciated.
Again, thank you to my lovely gente for reading me – and until my next post…
Artsy besos, Roz Baron