Arizona applauds “American mariachi”, a musical party for Latina women

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Arizona applauds "American mariachi", a musical party for Latina women Undated photo courtesy of American Mariachi showing members of the Arizona Theater Company (ATC) during a performance of "American Mariachi" at the Tucson Temple of Art and Music in Tucson, Arizona (USA). "American Mariachi", a story that rescues Mexican musical traditions for the musical theater in the United States and enhances the role of women in their struggle to achieve gender equality, is presented to Arizona with an all-female cast and crew. EFE / ONLY EDITORIAL USE

 Phoenix (AZ), .- “American Mariachi”, a story that rescues Mexican traditions in the musical theater in the United States and enhances the role of women in their struggle to achieve gender equality, is presented to Arizona with a cast and mostly female work team.

With functions next weekend in Tucson and run by the group Arizona Theater Company (ATC), it is a work that portrays “beautiful” music, memories, family unity and culture.

The Mexican-American playwright José González Cruz emphasizes that mariachi was not always an option for women, who began to open a “gap” in this world of men in the 1970s.

“I wanted to tell what happened to those women who learned mariachi music when it was only played by men in this country, and that’s how ‘American Mariachi’ was born,” González Cruz told Efe.

The author indicates that the story focuses on the character of Amalia, a mother who suffers from dementia. She, who suffers from dementia, loves the music of mariachis, but things change when her daughter, Lucha, discovers an old record that her mother used to listen to.

“Lucha, a Chicana woman, the daughter of a mariachi who works in restaurants, finds an old record that helps her mother, who suffers from dementia, to recover her memory, thus beginning an adventure in her path, that of learning to play the instruments, “the playwright explained.

“American Mariachi” had its world premiere in Denver, Colorado, last year, and a few months later it was shown in San Diego, California.

Now, under the direction of Christopher Acebo, arrives at Arizona theaters, with functions next weekend in Tucson and from April 4 in Phoenix.

The distribution and the work team are predominantly women.

“Traditionally, mariachi music was passed from father to son, not from father to daughter, they did not let the women touch because before the mariachis they performed in bars,” González Cruz points out.
“Women groups were formed, but they had to ask permission from their husbands and forbid them to drink in presentations,” the playwright said.

A native of California, González Cruz recalled the mariachi group “Las reinas” from Los Angeles, led by an American woman who went to Mexico to learn to play this music.

“As we can see, the mariachi is not a matter of gender or nationalities, it transcends borders, and today many women are teachers who teach men to play, mariachi is played all over the world, and in Colombia there are many mariachis,” he said.

The 62-year-old playwright says the show is about “a family celebration.”

“It’s a Mexican music party, we seek to push the roots, the Latin women, our Chicanitas,” he said.

That joy that the librettist describes can be felt in the rehearsals. The cast talks, jokes and occasionally sings mariachi songs between one scene and another.

“When people come to the theater there is a lot of magic, because they listen to words in Spanish, everyone enjoys music and language, it’s a great cultural celebration,” said González Cruz. (EFEUSA)

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