By Joan Alperin-Schwartz
There are certain plays that live on for ever...'Phantom Of The Opera', 'Rent', 'Cat's' just to name a few. They continue to play in theatres around the world, finding new generations to entertain.
'El Grande de Coca- Cola' is one of those plays.. For almost 40 years, since it first premiered in London, the farcical comedy has been produced in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Amsterdam, Mexico City and Brazil. I'm sure I've left some cities out, but you get the point.
The play is a hit, no matter what language it's in, receiving rave reviews at every stop, and after seeing 'El Grande de Coca-Cola' at the Ruskin Theatre in Santa Monica, I understand why.
This over the top farce is set in a nightclub in a small backwater town, somewhere South of the Border.
Senor Don Pepe Hernandez, (Ron House) tells the local press that he is bringing a group of famous international cabaret stars to town. He convinces his uncle, who is the manager of the local Coca-Cola bottling plant, to advance him enough money to rent the place for three days.
Now all he needs is a cast...Lucky for Hernandez, he has two daughters, (Lila Dupress and Nina Brisey) who he persuades to join the show, along with relatives, (Aaron Jackson and David Lago).
And what a show it is...Wonderfully silly, filled with singing, dancing, magic tricks, and jokes that are so bad, they're good.
Paul Denk (Alfredo) rounds out the cast.
'El Grande de Coca-Cola' is directed by Alan Shearman, who shares writing credit with Ron House (who starred in the original production) Diz White and John Neville Andrews.
Shearman directed the off Broadway production as well.
This is not great theatre...It's not serious theatre...It's slapstick, way over the top and pure fun. So make sure you bring your sense of humor.
'El Grande de Coca-Cola', opened July 19, 2013 and has been extended to September 28th, 2013. There is no performance on September 1st..
.Runs: Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.
TIX: $25.00 (Students, Guild Members and Seniors, $20.00)
Reservations: 310-397-3244 or www.ruskingrouptheatre.com
The Ruskin Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica 90404