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A Spanglish romp of Advent for 2020

A scene from “A Musical Piñata for Christmas,” which Teatro Paraguas is putting on for the eighth year. (Courtesy of Teatro Paraguas)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Argos MacCallum wanted to keep the Christmas tradition going for Teatro Paraguas.

Over the past seven years, the Santa Fe-based theater company has presented “A Musical Piñata for Christmas.”

This year, the series will mark its eighth year – and will be presented virtually for the first time.

“It’s been a very strange year,” MacCallum says. “Alix Hudson usually writes us a play every year. She’s written one for us again this year.”

The event will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, on Zoom. Registration takes place at teatroparaguas.org.

Hudson and Paola Vengoechea-Martini wrote the short play, “Home for the Holidays: Con Amor y Gozo.”

It is a Spanglish romp of Advent (and Chanukah) 2020.

In “Home for the Holidays,” the 20 actors of all ages from the Teatro Paraguas family are desperately trying to cobble together a “normal” Christmas for the family matriarch, Mama JoJo, played by JoJo Sena de Tarnoff.

“It’s a Zoom play about a Zoom play,” MacCallum says with a laugh. “That’s how different this year has been.”

But group Christmas preparations on Zoom don’t prove easy in the midst of the pandemic.

Mama JoJo’s daughters – played by Cristina Vigil, Juliet Salazar, Jeni Tincher, Hudson, Sharla Stearn, Julia Gay and Vengoechea-Martini – each take different approaches coping with the stress, from remedios to music to micromanagement.

Tio Padre Froggy, played by Rudy Fernandez, worries about composing his famous Misa del Gallo homily.

While the teenagers are more than OK with the lax oversight, their little primos worry about the rest of the family.

Teatro Paraguas will present “A Musical Piñata for Christmas” virtually this year due to the pandemic. (Courtesy of Teatro Paraguas)

MacCallum plays one of the eclectic uncles alongside Stephen Jules Rubin.

He says there are New York cousins, who must come from afar for the event.

The NY cousins are played by New York City-based Crip Video.

MacCallum says the entire cast will sing Mama JoJo’s favorite carol, “Vamos Todos a Belén.”

“We will see how this all comes together,” he says. “There are going to be about 20 people singing this song.”

The play will run 40 minutes.

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