Last Night: Culture Clash in AmeriCCa

Rather than offer a straightforward review of Culture Clash's Culture Clash in AmeriCCa at South Coast Repertory (anything these guys do is genius, and this show is no different), here's some notes from the Friday night premiere:

*FACES IN THE CROWD: Orange County Business Journal honcho Rick Reiff, legendary slumlord George Argyros and his gracious wife, Judy, and too many coffin dodgers to count.

*MOST SHAMELESS PLUG: In the very beginning, when Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza prepare to interview a day laborer played by Richard Montoya, Salinas shouted "Ask a Mexican, take one," in a shameless nod toward my column. Gracias, guys. The audience howled--but probably more out of their bigoted souls than recognition of the column.

*BIGGEST BOMB: When Culture Clash took a jab at Costa Mesa's Minuteman councilmember, Allan Mansoor. Almost no one laughed--since when does the California Coalition for Immigration Reform attend theater?

*LOUDEST AUDIENCE GASP: When Siguenza--in the role of a beach bum--remarked he had just accepted a teaching job at Mater Dei High. "I hear the girls are HOT!" Siguenza shouted, and the audience squirmed, no doubt aware about the school's kiddie-fiddling reputation.

*LOUDEST AUDIENCE LAUGH: When Montoya--in the role of a stoned San Francisco lesbian (don't ask; go see)--she bought her pot from a nephew who's going to graduate from Orange Coast College after 13 years. As a proud Pirate, I take offense to your slur, Richard: most of us take 6 years, tops.

We can go on, but instead urge all to buy tickets now if you want two hours of joy, pain, laughter and barbs directed at our fair county. Actually, the OC parts probably total 25 minutes, but you won't notice it--and it ends with Social D!

Below are snippets:


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