- Reporters Desk
By John Farrell
Piñatas are the colorful creations of papier mache that are the center of celebrations for children. When broken open they reveal candy and surprises inside.
This is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in Mexico.
In Piñata Dreams, the world premier play by Josefina Lopez that opened on the main stage of Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights, piñatas are the way young J.J. (played with an artless focus by Noah Logan Martinez) can focus his life on art.
He wants to create, but his parents want a different life for him, a life of science or the law, a life with what they contend is a better future. There is much for him to experience, and his parents to experience, in a dreamscape that owes at least a little to “Alice in Wonderland,” before the shows’ end.
Pinata Dreams is a show for children, a play full of wonder, of living piñatas, a magic stick made to break piñatas, which also connects with J.J.’s great-grandfather. There also are plenty of other creatures, all based on piñatas and alebrijes, the brightly colored Mexican sculptures of fantastical animals. Those, too, come to life in the play, which is intended to inspire children to be creative and choose their own way in life.
The ensemble cast includes Isaiah Cazares, Evy De La Cruz, Jose A. Garcia, Sophie Goldstein, David Guerra and Suzanne Santos. The are alebrijes, fire fighters, mother and father and grandfather, and even a couple of “diablos,” played with relish by Garcia.
It’s an intriguing and effective show for children, with a little bit for adults to think about, too. It also is a colorful and entertaining way to send a slightly different Christmas message: one that might give children a new way to look at their future.
Tickets are $20, $17 for students and seniors, and $15 for Boyle Heights residents. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and at 5 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 28, with an extra matinee at 3 p.m. Dec. 27.
Venue: Casa 0101.
Location: 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights