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    The Bronx Witch Project

    Comedian/performance artist Alba Sanchez makes her La MaMa debut with "The Bronx Witch Project," a journey from the Bodega to Bloomies with a succession of comic characters all played by Ms. Sanchez. It's an evening of urban tales that cross through cults and cultural borders, from boarding schools to the armpits of the South Bronx. Directed By Gary Dini, it has its premiere run in The Club at La MaMa September 19 to October 6. The material contains provocative sendups of Latina life and statements on racism, politics, love, and religion. The production will be Ms. Sanchez' first full-length play since her "The Tall Thin Blonde in The Short Puerto Rican Body" (1996), which pretty much established her as a Latina voice to be reckoned with. El Diario (Juan M. Mendez) wrote, "This excellent actress transforms herself, in a little less than an hour, into four distinctly different personalities. Throwing a playful eye at the Boricua and Latina of the north, written with irreverence and complexity and acted with earnestness, Sanchez(delivers) a compact but very powerful piece that leaves us wanting more." The Bronx Journal (Toni Ann Scauzillo) praised her as "smart, funny and socially and politically aware" and lauded her for her efforts to expand the parameters of theater by playing in unconventional spaces in The Bronx. Ms. Sanchez' material deals with Puerto Rican characters around the Grand Concourse, where she grew up and still lives today. It has a flavor much more akin to Whoopie Goldberg's gentleness than John Leguizamo's raw ribaldry. Most of "The Tall Blonde Woman in the Short Puerto Rican Body" centered on body-image humor, which was a staple of her early material. With "Holy Shssh," a play that was later re-titled "Giving Up Religion for Lent," she took a humorous look at the curves and stop signs generated by the juxtaposition of indigenous spiritual practices and mainstream Judeo-Christian values. Her father was a Puerto Rican-born loan shark and singer who was available "24-7 (24 days a year, seven minutes a day)." Her light-skinned mother was a spiritualist and nurse who often characterized herself as "white woman slave of a black man." Alba was a "change of life baby." Her parents sent her to exclusive boarding schools, which gave her a very unusual upbringing since she traversed between upscale, suburban Short Hills and the gritty streets of the South Bronx. At 14, she went to Professional Children's School in Manhattan — an experience that provides the plot of one of the stories in "The Bronx Witch Project."

    Dates:  Sept. 19, 2002 - Oct. 6, 2002
    Schedule:  Thurs.-Sat. 10 p.m., Sun. 5:30 p.m.
    Venue:  La Mama Experimental Theater, 74A East 4th St.
    Price:  
    Tickets/info:  (212) 475-7710


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