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The little theater that could

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Look out Los Angeles, there's a new theater in town. Well, not so new, as Casa 0101 has been around for 12 years, but with their brand new 5,000 square foot space and all its possibilites, it has finally arrived. Founded by Josefina López (Real Women Have Curves, Hungry Woman in Paris) in 2000, the once little store front, 55 seat theater received the ultimate make-over last year when it opened its doors to a brand new, state-of-the-art theater and art space at a different location and re-named The New Casa 0101 Theater. Still in the heart of the Boyle Heights Artist District and just a block away from the original location, the new 99 seat theater, gallery and cultural center is in full effect and took it to the next level this past weekend. Emmanuel Deleage, the current executive director, finally saw his project which was years in the making come to life with the opening of "The Imaginary Life of the Street Sweeper, August G." this past Friday. He translated this famous French play written by Armand Gatti to English and directed it as well. In his words, "the play celebrates the rich inner life of people and that no one is insignificant and I believe it will leave you thinking and inspired." The play tells the story of a street sweeper who receives a blow to the head by a cop while on strike for better working conditions. As his life flashes before his eyes, all the characters of his life meet for one last rendezvous in a sort of fantastic and desperate dance marathon.

This multi-media production is a big milestone for this once little theater, as it features a diverse cast of 31 actors, dancers, musicians, a live band, a dance marathon, visual graphics, and, most importantly, it highlights the capabilities of the new theater space. It is really quite a gem in the town of Boyle Heights and enriching that neighborhood and youth with exciting and fresh theater, inspiring art exhibits and classes and workshops in acting, writing, directing, etc. that are free to kids and teens.

Oh, and the original location, the 55 seat store front theater? It is still up and running as well and also renamed "Little Casa." Now a black box theater, it hosts on-going smaller, special events and performances and is available for rentals.

"The Imaginary Life of the Street Sweeper, August G." runs through May 13, 2012. Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 5pm. Metro riders receive $2 off ticket price if they come to the theater on the Metro and present their Metro card. The New Casa 0101 Theater is located at 2102 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. For tickets and information call (323) 263-7684 or visit www.Casa0101.org.

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