“Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe”

East L.A. dedicated daughter by day, Hollywood Go-Go dancer by night. Featuring the songbook of David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez of "Los Lobos"


Evangeline Initiative Commemorates
50th Anniversary of East L.A. Student Walkouts
Includes  Restaging of Evangeline Production
Featuring Gaby Moreno

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 East L.A. Student Walkouts, we are producing the Evangeline Initiative with multiple educational components serving East L.A. and other youth, and restaging our critically acclaimed production of Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe for the first time in East L.A. The show will run March 29-April 8, 2018 at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights.

It is the first and only original play to incorporate the Grammy Award-winning songbook of Louie Pérez and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. The show’s lead singer will be the Grammy-winning chanteuse Gaby MorenoThe Guatemalan-born, L.A.-based singer-songwriter will interpret the music in an acoustic style that will compliment this intimate restaging.

Told through story and song and set in 1968, it is co-created by Theresa Chavez, Rose Portillo, and Louie Pérez, and centers on an East L.A. high school grad who is a devoted daughter by day and a West Hollywood go-go dancer by night. Inspired by the time period, she spreads her wings and lands in the distinctly different world of the Hollywood art and music scene. As East L.A. begins it’s own civil rights movement, she must reconcile her own individual journey with the need to hold on to her relationship with her family and her neighborhood.

The full production premiered in May 2012 to excellent reviews, sold out houses, and enthusiastic audience response in a 6-week run at the Bootleg Theater. The production traveled in October 2013 to California’s Central Valley for an educational outreach tour with Lobos’ musicians David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez performing.

As part of our Evangeline Initiative, we will introduce the inspiring coming-of-age story to highest-risk youth in East L.A.  In an intensive 20-session residency, we will mentor them to write their own plays that reflect the current personal and political issues they face. In addition, as part of the Plaza run, we will provide a free morning matinee with post-play discussion to these and other public high school students, including the distribution of the Evangeline Discovery Guide that explores 1960s cultural and political history. Plus we will present a free intergenerational and interactive panel and community forum — The Legacy of the 1968 Student Walkouts: How Far Have We Come? on March 31 @ 4PM with panelists Paula Crisostomo and Vickie Castro, both original walkout organizers; Henry Perez, Associate Director of InnerCity Struggle, an East L.A. educational justice organization; and a current Walkout high school student activist.

From the 2012 Premiere:

 GO!…There’s much to like in this chock-full world premiere featuring the songbook of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez…as several characters exclaim, ‘the streets feel electric.’ ” - LA Weekly

“REFRESHING!delicately interweaves cultural sensitivities with America’s strongest counterculture days… will literally and figuratively rock its audiences.” – Buzzine

“…beautifully crafted multimedia experience with a live band, and video strategically interspersed throughout the scenes…very relevant, moving, and entertaining… weaves history and art into the same tapestry and moves the viewer with its beauty.” – Latino Weekly

Evangeline Initiative is supported in part by:

   - ---