Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

‘Interview With a Mexican’ a carnival of conversations

Gustavo Arellano has always been at the forefront of national issues with his writing.

As the creator of “¡Ask a Mexican!” and “Taco USA,” Arellano doesn’t shy away from controversies.

Anthony J. Garcia of Denver’s Su Teatro wanted to bring some of Arellano’s work to the stage.

“Gustavo and I developed this relationship over a period of time,” Garcia says. “We began to work together on some projects. I teach in Denver, and Gustavo would come into town to do an event and we’d collaborate.”

After the pair have spent years working together, Su Teatro is presenting “Interview With a Mexican.”

Arellano’s column “¡Ask a Mexican!” famously touched on topics such as “lowriders, busboys and housekeepers; drunks and scoundrels; heroes and celebrities,” and allowed Arellano to establish himself as the comic authority on what it is to be a Mexican, even challenging “gabachos” to come out of the closet and ask the obvious, ignorant, and sometimes racist questions, which were met with derision and insult, but also with a tremendous amount of insight as well as information.

The theater piece will begin a four-date run at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The piece is a carnival of conversations and random perspectives from Arellano about what it means to be a Mexican, in or outside the U.S.

Development of the work was funded by the National Performance Network, which has as commissioning partners Su Teatro, MACLA, Colorado State University-Pueblo and the NHCC.

“Gustavo has been great,” Garcia says. “He told me he trusted me. A lot of the material comes from listening. We have been fortunate to have a lot of feedback from him. We’ve started performing it, and I didn’t realize audiences were going to respond the way they have been. The thing about Gustavo is that he may insult you, but he does it in a smart way. That’s been an interesting dynamic to bring to the space.”

Garcia says the show is low-tech but has a lot of technical elements.

“This has more sound cues than any show I’ve worked on,” he says with a laugh. “The biggest obstacle has been how much is happening on stage. There’s so much changing, and it’s been interesting to keep up with the entire production.”

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email or Contact the writer.